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New Web-portal "food" To Protect Environment And Health

Paris/Vienna/Nairobi, 4 June 2001 - To enable developing countries to efficiently and cost-effectively phase out an extremely toxic and ozone depleting pesticide - methyl bromide, 58 projects in 36 countries have been financed by the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol. A new collaborative web-portal between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) called FOOD (Free Of Ozone Depletion) for a Healthy Planet has been set up to communicate the results of these demonstration projects.

To be launched on June 5, 2001, the FOOD web-portal is the first to provide information on the experiences and results of such projects and can be used as a tool in efforts to adopt more environmentally sustainable agricultural practices.

"The methyl bromide phase out offers a win-win-win situation for agriculture, the environment and human health as the project results repeatedly demonstrate that carefully-chosen alternative techniques can be cost-effective, protect the ozone layer while maintaining agricultural productivity and improve worker safety at the same time." says Dr. Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of UNEP. It is expected that these results will catalyze the phase out in other countries and have a multiplying effect in ozone and health protection.

"Farmers who are dependent on methyl bromide will need to shift towards more environmentally sustainable agricultural practices," adds UNIDO's Director-General Carlos Magariños. "Such changes must come through sustained awareness-raising, training and capacity-building activities to provide farmers with the education and tools needed to successfully adopt alternatives. By disseminating results and other related information, it is hoped that this web-portal will become an effective tool to help all stakeholders in identifying and adopting alternatives."

As more information from these projects becomes available, the web-portal will be regularly updated and support other UNEP DTIE OzonAction Programme efforts, such as the Regular Update on Methyl Bromide Alternatives (RUMBA). UNEP and UNIDO are implementing agencies for the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is already assisting UNEP to create awareness among farmers on this issue.

Please visit the site at:

UNEP News Release 01/79


Methyl bromide is a highly toxic, ozone-depleting fumigant used in agriculture to grow such crops as tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberries, for pest control in structures and stored commodities and for quarantine and pre-shipment uses. UNEP's Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee has identified alternatives for the vast majority of current uses and many of these are already used successfully around the world. Recognizing its threat to the ozone layer, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed in 1997 to a global phase-out schedule for methyl bromide. This schedule requires that developed countries phase out by 2005 and developing countries freeze methyl bromide consumption by 2002 with a 2O% reduction in 2005 and a phase out by 2015.

About the UNEP DTIE OzonAction Programme

This activity is part of the information exchange services provided by UNEP to developing countries to help them meet their methyl bromide phase-out obligations under the Montreal Protocol. The OzonAction Programme is implementing a range of technical and policy assistance activities to support the methyl bromide phase out and the transition to alternatives. UNEP provides other clearinghouse services (Training & Networking of ODS Officers) as well as assistance with the development of national ODS phase-out strategies (Country Programmes) and Institutional Strengthening support. For more information, contact: Rajendra M. Shende, Chief, UNEP DTIE Energy and OzonAction Unit, Tour Mirabeau, 39-43 quai André Citroen, Paris 75739 Cedex 15, France or Tel: (33.1), Fax: (33.1), email: Or visit the OzonAction Programme web site at:


Assistance through UNIDO is rendered in the form of close to 700 industrial projects in relevant industrial sectors (production of aerosols, foams, fumigants (methyl bromide), fire extinguishers, refrigerators, metalworking and electronic industries and tobacco processing) with a total approved funding of over $220 million (net, UNIDO support costs).The main emphasis of assistance under the Montreal Protocol lies in:

  • Policy advice, and capacity building to the governments and various key players of the relevant industries,
  • Creation and enhancement of awareness on this environmental hazard and its implications,
  • Training and skills development in cleaner production technologies, testing, quality control and standardization,
  • Technical and financial support to enterprises in converting their production lines to ozone friendly technologies,
  • Replacement of retrofitting of equipment for adaptation to the new substances, which are environment-friendly,
  • Adaptation of cleaner manufacturing technologies.

UNIDO is the leading implementing agency in charge of 26 demonstration projects out of which 17 have been completed. Workshops have been organized to discuss the results of demonstration projects and come up with the appropriate recommendations on alternatives to be selected. In this respect, 9 phase out projects have been already approved for implementation by UNIDO and will eliminate 790 ODP tones.

For more information, contact: Ms. Seniz Yalcindag ,Director of the Montreal Protocol Branch, UNIDO, Wagrammerstrasse 5, 1400 Vienna, PoBox 300 or Tel: (431) 26026 3347, Fax: (431) 26026 6804, email: and Mr. Sidi Menad SI AHMED, Head of Methyl Bromide unit, Tel: (431) 26026 3782, Fax: (431) 26026 2134, email:

Monday 04 Jun 2001
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