Namibia recorded zero ozone-depleting substances: Sinimbo

Stefanus Nashama

The Deputy Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Verna Sinimbo, has noted that the country recorded zero consumption of the ozone-depleting substance, Chlouro-Flouro-Carbons (CFCs).

Sinimbo said the improvement of such a record was made possible by the control of the ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol discussion nations in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Member States.

She was speaking at the National Ozone Unit and Customs Twinning Workshop and Border Dialogue for countries of the SADC region yesterday in Windhoek.

The border dialogue aims to strengthen cooperation between Customs Departments from the countries in monitoring the trade of ozone-depleting substances.

The Deputy Minister said the zone-depleting substances have been a challenge to the country at the borders where trade and importation of the substances are mostly conducted between SADC countries.

“The substances damage the ozone layer, which allows too much sun’s rays to penetrate through causing skin cancers, eye cataracts, suppressed immune system, poor crop quality, and degradation of material are but some of the effects of a depleted ozone layer.

It was then important that the SADC nations through the Montreal Protocol, discuss how to control such environmental damage substances that deplete the ozone layer, she said.

Sinimbo explained that Namibia, under the Montreal Protocol, established a licensing and quota system for the control of the trade of ozone-depleting substances.

“This has yielded a good result of zero record on the trade of the said harmful substances,” she indicated.

She reiterated an improvement in the illegal trade and importation of ozone-depleting substances has since been achieved under the Montreal Protocol.

According to Sinimbo, Namibia joined the Protocol in 1993 and has, since 2010, complied with the set phase-out schedule, able to maintain zero consumption of Chlouro-Flouro-Carbons among others.

She added that the country reports on Annual Trade statistics of substances under the Montreal Protocol to the Ozone Secretariat and the Multi-Lateral Fund.

“Namibia through the National Ozone Unit offers training on the identification of substances,’ she mentioned. This, she said is done under the Montreal Protocol to customs officers and clearing agents.

She also explained that the National Ozone Unit capacitates and provides support to vocational training centres on the safe handling of alternative technology and training materials.

“With all those efforts, our country maintained the safety of the depletion of the ozone layer,” she said.

She requested that further recommendations from the gathering be taken forward with implementation.

“We need each other for the successful implementation of the Montreal Protocol in the region and Africa,” she added.

Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRa), Commissioner Sam Shivute, who also spoke at the same event, encouraged the promotion of regional cooperation with customs and excise officers, saying the workshop adds value to the country’s strategic initiatives relating to the control of new substances.

The countries in the discussions include Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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