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REGIONAL workshop ON enabling activities for HFC phase down and training of new National Ozone Officers of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Anglophone network, 17 to 21 June, 2019, AT 0900am, Savoy Hotel, Beau-Vallon

UN-Environment and Ozone Secretariat Representative
Government Officials
Distinguished delegates
International Partners
Ladies and Gentlemen

Good morning to you all and a very warm welcome to Seychelles.

On behalf of the Government of Seychelles, it is my pleasure to welcome you all to Seychelles and to this workshop. I hope you are enjoying our creole hospitality.

This workshop for enabling activities for Hydro Floro Carbon (HFC) phase down and training of new National Ozone Officers of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Anglophone network has come at an opportune time, as several African countries embark on the ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

The main objective of this Enabling Activities workshop is to review progress in the implementation of activities to support early ratification of the Kigali Amendment, including stakeholder consultation, support for the development of national ratification instruments, awareness raising on HFC phase-down and energy efficiency improvement, institutional arrangements to support the development of data collection methodologies, data reporting and licensing for HFCs and preparation of national strategy for the implementation of the Kigali Amendment.

We have to show to our people that our efforts in protecting the ozone layer benefit them. Therefore, it would be really fitting that one of the outcome from this workshop is that each country must inspire its citizens to become more aware of the challenges and solutions to the health of our planet, and practice a lifestyle which is sustainable and at the same time contribute in the protection of planet earth.

We need to find innovative solutions to overcome the present environmental challenges through different achievable approaches like sustainable consumption and production, inspiring nations, and more importantly, involving private sector players and all other individuals.

 We are in the middle of a historic stage in the life of the Montreal Protocol. Over the past years, this organization has brought opportunities to build on the strong commitments and dedication of our collective efforts.

 I would like to pay tribute to the Ozone Secretariat, both past and present, for their tireless efforts in assisting Member States, at a critical time for action to protect and reverse the degradation of our planet.

 The world is facing major challenges to combat climate change whereby small islands developing states like Seychelles is at risk due to global warming and sea-level rise.

My Government recognizes the need to balance economic growth with environmental sustainability in order to ensure long-term sustainability and preserve the quality of life of our citizens. Therefore, we still believe strongly that whilst we strive for economic prosperity and development, at the same time we need to continue with our policy of setting aside areas and spaces for protection and also continue to enforce compliance with environmental policies and legislations and also participate in businesses contributing towards environmental management.

That is why ever since its signatory to the Montreal Protocol of substances that deplete the ozone layer in 1993, Seychelles has had many good reasons to celebrate its Montreal Protocol achievements. Not only did we meet our Montreal Protocol obligations and targets but we were also able to reap benefits in several areas.

In the last 25 years, Seychelles developed and successfully implemented its Country Programme and Refrigerant Management Plan, and Terminal Phase-out Management Plan of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and became compliance in 2005, two years before the target year. Seychelles was also one of the first countries in the world to develop and get approval for its hydro chloro fluoro carbons (HCFCs) Phase-out Management Plan in 2010 and as of 2018, a total ban has been imposed on all importation of HCFCs or compound of HCFC-based Equipment and Refrigerant Gas under the Montreal Protocol.

The country has established its Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) control policy and regulation, especially putting in place the ODS import and export licensing quota system which have been enforced successfully and efficiently. The Ozone unit of my Ministry is constantly training customs officers and law enforcement officers to be able to identify the controlled substances, facilitate their legal entry and prevent any attempts of illegal trade.

Additionally, trainings continue to be provided to refrigerant technicians who are one of the major stakeholders in the implementation of the Montreal Protocol, in the Good Refrigerant Management Practices and Safety and Handling of Hydrocarbons at the Seychelles Institute of Technology.

Our next challenge is the Ratification and implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on the Phase-down of HFCs, primarily used in air conditioning, refrigeration and foam insulation.

Though ozone friendly, HFCs is a powerful greenhouse gas that can be thousands of times more potent and more destructive to the climate than carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change and their growing use threatens to undermine the Paris Agreement, agreed by 195 countries in 2015.

I am pleased to inform all of you here that the cabinet of Ministers had already endorsed the Kigali Amendment and is now before the Members of Parliament for ratification and is expected to be completed by the end of this month, just in time before the start of the 41st Session of Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) to be held in Bangkok early next month. So we are on the right track.

Therefore, as you can attest Ladies and Gentlemen, we have done a lot in our quest to protect the ozone layer.

My most sincere appreciation goes to all the dedicated Ozone Officers, commitment and resolve to strengthen this organization, to look to the future with pride, and for setting the basis to build a bright future for the environmental pillar of sustainable development. 

My Government look very much forward to working with all members of SADC, to ensure that this organization goes from strength to strength, in order to become a more agile, effective and robust organization that is able to quickly respond to the most pressing environmental challenges seen in generations.

Unless we take action now, we will not be able to reverse these mega-climate change trends, like flash floods, drought, severe tropical cyclones etc.. all of them accompanied by tragic loss of human lives.

Ladies and gentlemen

At the end of this workshop, we want to send a strong and united message to the world – and to our people – that we are committed to ratify and implement the Kigali Amendment through our Nationally Determined Contributions.

Because that will contribute to avoid the worst impacts of a warmer world, since the Paris Agreement is a new deal that capture a vision for a carbon-free world by the middle of this century. Without both Agreements, no harvest will be adequate to save Southern African countries from drought and no seawall will be high enough to save Seychelles. Together, we must find the courage to rise to this challenge to ensure the survival of all African Countries and SIDS as viable states.

Let’s continue to work together to accelerate ratification and implementation of the Kigali Amendment and take the crucial next steps towards transformative change. 

If everyone does its part, we can reduce emissions, protect the ozone layer and the climate system, increase access to affordable energy, and help farmers everywhere grow more productive crops.

I would like on behalf of the Government of Seychelles wish to thank UN-Environment and Ozone Secretariat for their supports and commitment towards the region and for choosing Seychelles as the host for this important Regional Ozone workshop. I look forward for your continuous support. 

Finally, let me offer my heartfelt thanks to all of those in and out of this room who have worked so diligently to make this happen.

And may I suggest that all our guests also make time out between your busy schedule to see more and more of our country and to gauge the warmth of our people. 

I now declare opened the Workshop for National Ozone Officers from the SADC Region and wish you all fruitful deliberations.

Thank you.

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