Viet Nam, Australia and UNDP to Promote Protection of Ozone Layer with help of Private Sector

Jan 9, 2001

HA NOI - Three one-day seminars that aim to increase the participation of the private sector in the protection of ozone layer will take place in Ha Noi and Hai Phong during January. Over sixty enterprises from Viet Nam's commercial refrigeration sector and government representatives will take part in the seminars. The goal of the seminars is to train the technical personnel of the participating companies to use new CFC recovery and recycling equipment that each company will receive at the end of the seminars. The equipment to be distributed, worth a total value of US$230,000, enables the companies to reduce the emissions of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) that are harmful to the ozone layer and, at the same time, upgrade their technology.

Purchase of the equipment will be funded by the joint UNDP-Australian project, CFC Recycling and Emissions Reduction in the Commercial Refrigeration Sector. The project, implemented by the Food Industries Research Institute (FIRI) under the Ministry of Industry, commenced in 1999 and will be completed in 2002. The project carries out CFC recovery and recycling programmes in Ha Noi and Hai Phong and the surrounding area within the Red River Delta, and in Da Nang. The project provides CFC recovery and recycling machines, together with training and expert services, for enterprises with refrigeration facilities and for enterprises using selective food processing procedures.

In 1994, Viet Nam became a signatory to both the Vienna Convention for Ozone Layer Protection and the Montreal Protocol, which aim to limit and eventually eliminate the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances. In 1995, the Government of Viet Nam approved the Country Programme to Phase Out the Consumption and Emission of Ozone Depleting Substances.

The ozone layer absorbs the most harmful ultraviolet (UV-B) rays from the sun and prevents them from reaching the earthÿs surface. Without the ozone layer, life could not have developed on earth. As the ozone layer has been depleted, creating holes in the layer, increasing amounts of UV-B radiation have reached the earth's surface. This has caused severe negative impacts on human health and ecosystems, including the increased occurrence of skin cancer, diminished immunity systems in humans and animals, and diminished crops. Ozone layer depletion also increases global warming.

The project complements other UNDP supported projects that have helped three cosmetics companies to switch to new technologies, which now no longer use CFCs and, at the same time, improve production efficiency.

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