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Being aware of Grenada’s responsibility under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and it’s additional responsibilities to protect the climate system and achieve energy efficiency benefits, the Grenada Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Association (GRAVA) in conjunction with the National Ozone Unit (NOU), Energy Division, Ministry of Finance have staged another extremely successful Mobile Air-Conditioning (MAC) system Retrofit Demonstration and Mini-Exhibition. This follows two previously held similar activities in 2007 and 2008.

This event was held on Saturday November 28th, 2009 at the Spiceland Mall Car Park. The main objective of the event was to reduce the use and dependence of Ozone Depleting (CFC-12) and the Global Warming (HFC-134a) refrigerants in Mobile Air Conditioning Systems and replace them with Ozone and Climate “friendly” refrigerants, while at the same time gaining the energy benefits.

During the days activities vehicle owners benefitted from a free inspection and refrigerant identification of their vehicle AC Systems by twenty three (23) trained and certified Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) Technicians. The main feature of the day however, was the conversion of Auto AC from refrigerants with high Ozone Depleting and Global Warming Potential refrigerants to natural refrigerants – Hydrocarbons, with zero Ozone Depleting Potential and negligible Global Warming Potential.

The event was extremely successful as over thirty vehicles benefitted from the services offered by the technicians at less than fifty percent (50%) of the normal retrofitting cost.

Vehicle owners were particularly impressed with the potential energy savings in fuel consumption that can be derived from the conversion.

In 2005 and 2006 local RAC technicians would have received training in Cuba and Jamaica and more recently a total of four technicians returned from Belize and St. Lucia having undergone extensive training in Hydrocarbon technology. This activity of retrofitting auto AC is part of Grenada ‘s Terminal Phase out Management Plan to phase out CFC consumption by the year 2010.

The activity was graced with the distinguished presence of the Minister of Environment, Hon. Michael Church. Minister Church continues to demonstrate his commitment to Grenada’s cause for the protection and preservation of the environment.

Click Here to View Photos of the Event >>

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At a Press Conference held by the National Ozone Unit (NOU) in the Energy Division on Friday November 19th, 2009, two local Customs Officers selected to attend a Train the Trainers Green Customs Initiative (GCI) workshop in the Dominican Republic from November 24th to 26th were presented with travel documents and workshop material to facilitate their attendance.

The Press Conference was held at the conference room at the Ministry of Finance. The presentation was made by Mr. John Auguste, Senior Energy Officer on behalf of the Energy Division, Ministry of Finance.

This workshop is being organized by the United Nations Environment Programme – Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNEP-ROLAC) in conjunction with the Customs Department of the Dominican Republic .

Workshop participants will be exposed to training on several Multi-lateral Environment Agreements (MEAs) related to environmentally sensitive commodities, including:

• The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer

• The Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste and their Disposal

• The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

• The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade

• Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna

• Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

There will also be presentations from representatives of:

• World Customs Organization (WCO)

• Interpol

• The organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

• The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime

The main objectives of the workshop are:

• To capacitate the Senior National Trainers of Customs Department with information regarding MEAs and Internal Illegal Trade in “Environmentally Sensitive” Commodities

• To raise awareness in conformity with the objectives of the Green Customs Initiative

• To agree on a Draft National Green Customs Training module to be adapted at the National Customs Training Schools.

The goal is to have participants sufficiently equipped to include into National Customs Curriculum the Green Customs Initiative.

The Customs Officers selected to attend the workshop are Mr. Donan Victor, Deputy Comptroller of Customs and Mrs. Lauren Brizan, Senior Customs Officer. They are both due to leave the island on Monday November 23rd for the Dominican Republic .

During a brief interview, Mr. Victor gave the assurance that the information acquired from the workshop will be imparted to other customs officers on their return to Grenada. Mrs. Brizan is also looking forward to her role as being part of the training arm of customs and made it clear to the media that in addition to the principal role that customs play in revenue collection, they also have a moral proactive responsibility to protect the environment.

The National Ozone Unit wishes them well on their participation at the workshop.

Salutation:

The delegation of Grenada wishes to record its gratitude to the Government and People of Arab Republic of Egypt for so graciously hosting us. We relish the opportunity to experience the beautiful facilities of Port Ghalib for the execution of this meeting.

We, also, extend our gratefulness to the Secretariat of the United Nations Environment Programme for its orderly organization of this – The Twenty-First Meeting of Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

We do so with the added pride in the knowledge that we are a party to the only United Nations Organisation that can boast of having a perfect slate of United Nations signatories.

We beg your permission to specially recognize the focused and strategic manner in which the Multi Lateral Fund and all of the implementing agencies continue to execute its funding and support functions for which we are eternally grateful.

Further, it is our fervent hope that such a funding mechanism that allowed us to achieve the remarkable successes under the Montreal Protocol will be maintained to allow for proper monitoring and continuation of the excellent work already established by my country.

In fact, it is because of this very strategic and focused approach, in large measure, that Grenada has been able to satisfy consistently its programmatic and developmental plans that are consistent with its ozone reduction commitments under the Montreal Protocol.

Grenada’s accelerated and completed phasing out of CFCs in 2006 ( four years ahead of schedule) is testimony to that strategic support to which we make reference.

In the process, Grenada has crafted and developed a licensing system that has become a permanent and effective centerpiece in Grenada’s Ozone Phasing out Management Plan. Today, the Ozone Unit within the Department of Energy, the Department of Customs, the Division of Trade, Importers and Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Technicians work collaboratively to support and maintain the integrity of the Montreal Protocol and the longevity of our planet.

Esteemed Co-chairs,

As we forge into the future, we recognize that science will deposit new information that will suggest the abandonment of practices that we hold to be safe today. Our public relations and public education initiatives are increasingly geared to preparing our population for such challenges.

We are confident, therefore, that our affiliation with the Montreal Protocol for ridding the planet of ozone depleting substances would enhance our contribution to its noble global cause.

We offer our assurances that Grenada will continue to observe and implement its obligations under the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone as a measure of our uncompromising position to continue to protect our fragile ozone layer and safeguard our climate system.

Thank you

Grenada, being a Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer since 1993, participated in the 21st Meeting of the Parties of the Montreal Protocol held in Port Ghalib, Egypt from November 2nd – 8th, 2009.

Grenada’s delegation to the meeting was lead by, Minister for Environment, Export Development and Foreign Trade, Honorable Michael Church. Mr. Leslie Smith, Project Officer in the National Ozone Unit, Energy Division also form part of Grenada’s delegation and accompanied the Hon Minister to the meeting.

This meeting was indeed a very significant one for Grenada, as Grenada was able to secure very high level positions at the meeting. Over 146 Parties to the Protocol in addition to NGOs’ participated in the meeting.

During the high level segment of the Meeting from November 6th – 8th, Head of the Grenada’s delegation, Hon. Michael Church was elected to the office of President of the Bureau of the Meeting and was immediately responsible for conducting the proceedings of the meeting. Grenada was also elected to the 2010 Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol. Additionally, Grenada’s Project Officer in the National Ozone Unit was appointed Co-chair for the Workshop on Quarantine and Pre-Shipment uses of Methyl Bromide which was held on November 2nd .

Also during the high level segment Mr. Smith presented a message to the delegates at the meeting on behalf of the Hon. Minister, Grenada’s who was engaged in conducting the business of the meeting as the newly elected President.

Among the many areas addressed in the message, Hon. Minister praised the Ozone Secretariat for its successes to date and indicated Grenada’s renewed commitment to obligations of the Protocol. Special mention was also made of the financial contributions and technical support received by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Multi-lateral Fund and the need for the continuation of such to ensure the continued success of Grenada’s Montreal Protocol activities.

By virtue of the Hon. Minister being elected President of the Bureau of the 21st Meeting of the Parties, he has also been invited to sit on the Executive Committee of the Multi-lateral Fund at the 59th meeting in Port Ghalib, Egypt, which will take place from the Tuesday 10th to Saturday14th, November 2009.

Grenada’s delegation is due to return to Grenada on Monday 16th November, 2009.

Interview done with Hon. Minister Church at the just concluded 21st Meeting of the Parties in Egypt Nov 2nd – 8th, 2009

Click Here to View Interview