Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe will next month join the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.
The day is commemorated on September 16 every year and this year’s commemoration marks 32 years after the signing of the Montreal Protocol which saw several nations, including Zimbabwe, signing on substances that deplete the ozone layer.
Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri, in a statement read on his behalf at the ongoing Zimbabwe Agricultural Show by the ministry’s climate change scientist Mr Tatenda Mutasa, said Zimbabwe had lined up a number of awareness programmes.
“On September 16, my ministry will hold a symposium in Chinhoyi to enlighten stakeholders on activities underway to protect the ozone layer and combat climate change,” he said.
Minister Shiri said this year’s theme reminded the nation to keep up the momentum to ensure a healthy people.
“The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘32 years and healing’ and it celebrates over three decades of remarkable international cooperation to protect the ozone layer and the global climate system under the Montreal Protocol,” he said.
“It reminds us that we must keep up the momentum to ensure healthy people and a healthy planet.”
The Montreal Protocol, he added: “Has led to the phase-out of 99 percent of ozone-depleting chemicals in refrigeration and air-conditioning, agriculture, firefighting, cleaning applications and many other sectors.
“The 2019 celebrations are coming after the entry of the Kigali Amendment on the 1st of January 2019,” said Minister Shiri. “By phasing down hydro-fluorocarbons (HFCs) which are potent climate-warming gases, the Kigali Amendment can avoid up to 0.4 degrees celsius of global temperature rise by the end of this century, while continuing to protect the ozone layer.
“Let us keep on working and healing the ozone layer together.”