China Ozone Day
UNEP IE’S OzonAction Programme
Children’s Painting Competition
It is indeed a pleasure and an honor for me to be here representing UNEP at the occasion of the International Ozone Day. I would like to extend the warm greetings of the Executive Director Dr Topfer and Division Director Mrs. Aloisi de Larderel as well as my colleagues at the OzonAction Programme in Paris.
State Environmental Protection Agency deserves to be congratulated in organizing this awareness event today. SEPA’s hardworking and committed staff has been busy in last two days during which they organized two seminars on Phase out Strategy in CFC-Production and Solvent sectors. During next three days they will be organizing Country Programme Up-Date and Policy Workshop. These intense activities demonstrate the way in which SEPA and other Ministries have taken up the challenge to implement the Montreal Protocol.
Being here with you in Beijing, I recall with the fondness my participation in the another landmark event that took place three years back on the occasion of the First International Ozone day. On that day Mr. Xia-the then Administrator of NEPA, Mr. Wang and Mr. Liu Yi his staff along with UNEP were standing on the road outside the Beijing’s busy Market place and creating awareness about the Ozone Layer Protection and urging the consumers to look for Ozone friendly Products.
Lot has changed since then. Implementation of the phase out activities is in full swing. Sectoral Strategies have been drawn. SEPA staff has acquired skills of Project management, lessons have been learned, the Country Programme has been updated and revised strategy and action plan has been drawn. More importantly, nearly 20,000 tones of ODS has been phased out and China is well on its way to meet the first target under the Montreal Protocol.
The level of awareness among children in China has increased from modestly inquisitive to highly expressive. Three years back I had an opportunity to talk to Chinese Children who asked me number of questions on the Ozone Layer. Today their curiosity has transformed into a strong message. We see that message through the paintings that have been exhibited here in this Center.
These paintings are the award winning paintings by the children of China. It is the part of the World Painting competition organized by UNEP’s OzonAction Programme and Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency. It is open for the children of the developing countries and countries with the economies in transition. Each country has organized the National competition and will be sending one award winning painting to Paris. In Paris well known judges will be selecting three paintings for the first, second and third awards by Middle of October.
The awards will be given to three winners in Cairo at the opening ceremony of Tenth Meeting of Parties to the Montreal Protocol.
Three winners will travel to Cairo from their respective countries and be the host of the Government of Egypt for 3 days and visit touristic sites. There will also be Special merit Prizes.
Our actions today will determine whether children of tomorrow will inherit a world as healthy and as safe as we inherited from our fathers. This is also true for our actions to protect the Ozone layer. However it appears that we need reminding. Such reminder has come today from our children.
Children from 26 provinces of China have done this job in outstanding way and very effectively. One painting depicts the great wall of earth that protects our planet. Other has shown Giraffes lifting men high up on the trees reaching up to the sky to patch up the Ozone Hole with help of the stones brought up by birds. Yet another shows an ancient Chinese story of Nivva patching up the sky with 5-colour stone. All show the joint actions and express cooperative spirit.
UNEP has been catalyzing such cooperative spirit to achieve the objective of the Montreal Protocol and protect the Ozone Layer. I would like to thank all the children for their efforts and excellent ideas.
UNEP and SEPA, in recognition of the children’s efforts, will jointly print the New Year greeting cards using the award winning paintings of Children of China. The proceeds of the sale will be given to the schools affected by the recent floods in China.