Interview on the OzonAction
Do you worry about the people who envy you?
Certainly you can never underestimate the level of malicious and envious people out there who are going to try to take advantage of whatever things there are. The priority for me is to do good work , better it and aim for the best .
Nevertheless, a lot of NOUs still say to us: ‘OzonAction didn’t take their non-compliance seriously enough and we are having problems.’
Certainly we can always do better. Service to the countries with NC and potential NC is our the top priority. If you look at things like data reporting and licensing system we feel very good about the progress there. If you look at the progress on timely data reporting the results are phenomenal. Just looking back what was the number of countries reporting the data just 3 years back, you will see the remarkable change .
There is a lot more to do. We now have to focus on improving the reliability of data, improving the effectiveness and completeness of the licensing system.
So that’s our commitment to the governments . We’ll make sure that quality of services is not holding NOU back and not stagnating the pace of the progress on the compliance.
You came under a lot of flack from the USA and MFS. You were asked to cut back the soft programmes. You were attacked for bringing the projects that were not investment projects. Did you ever think for a second perhaps they might be right – ‘perhaps we are overdoing the non-investment activities?’
Actually we have been always encouraged by the Executive Committee to focus on the non-investment activities and capacity building activities. We have ever growing programme year after year. Meeting of the Parties always appreciated our efforts. No other IA gets mention of UNEP DTIE as much as we get in terms of appreciation and in terms of doing more. We deleiver and that’s the reason expectations of doing more is more.
But you came under fire from the USA delegate to ExCom …
That was quite some time back may be 4 years back , it old story now.
And MFS too accused you of being garnering suppirt of NOUs to get the approvals of your proposals. . Did you ever pause for a moment and think: you indeed were not need oriented?’
I think there’s a bit of an irony here. The idea of capacity building and non investment project is for supporting the investment project and to indirectly support the phase out and the compliance to the MP. Letting NOU at the drivers’ seat and have a choice of deciding the best strategy for the compliance needed the focussed a capcity building. The tragetted training and knowledge management services. making sure the NOUs are meaningfully engaged and that phase out takes place as pert eh action plan strated in their country programme. There is no other instance where the MEA focal point in the country that’s done a better job of compliying with MEA than the NOU under the Montreal protocol.
We founded the concept of networking of the NOUs. That was very focussed networking with innovative approaches of information sharing for the compliance. Focal points of other MEAs would be very lucky if they get as much assistance as got by NOUs under the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol and also as much the capacity bulding assistance as given under the OzonAction programme of UNEP.
Do you enjoy the focus – being part of the Montreal protocol that is hailed as successful MEA , Do you enjoy being the head of the programme that is the only programme that was enaged in the capcity bulding activities under that MEAs?
It’s certainly got some minuses, but there are some plusses in terms of being able to get out and articulate innovative ideas, get the funding, measuring the performance and analysing the impacts and learining the lessons for the next innovative steps like the halon trader for virtual halon banking, linking all NOUs by their own webs, public proivate partnership to prevent illegal trade, geen customs etc. It is great pleasure to work on the innovative tools of the capacity building. It’s a mixed bag, but I’ve been engaged in the OzonAction Programme over 12 years now and the importance of the capapcty building for the national focal pints for MEAs.
Do you ever get tired of talking about OzonAction?
Well, if the OzonAction ever stayed the same I would get tired but because of the breakthrough work and innovation and the opportunity to see the progressive impacts of our work that we and others are doing, no.
There’s still so much more to come and helping Government know how to take advantage of the programmes like OzonAction is an important role for us.