The continued thinning of the ozone layer can lead to an increase in skin cancers, cataracts and other degenerative tissue ailments, if not corrected.
But, Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, has reaffirmed Government???s commitment to the task of ensuring that the necessary protocols are in place and implemented to protect Barbados??? environment and the island???s sustainable development.
He made these comments during the launch of the National Ozone Depleting Substances Phase out Support Scholarship at the Savannah Hotel recently.
Minister Lowe noted that the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer, of which Barbados was a part since 1992, was designed to provide monitoring and control protection for 96 chemicals which impacted the ozone layer.
???…one of the hazards of a high import culture is that we pick up the habits of developed countries, and we very often find that modern countries are less cognisant or choose to be less cognisant of the importance of environmental protection,??? Dr. Lowe stated.
He added that Barbados as a small island developing state placed a lot of emphasis on the protection of its environment especially with respect to covering national and regional responsibility.
As a result, the country is approaching the phase out of hydroflourocarbons (HCFC) refrigerants, with the current target being a 35 per cent reduction in consumption by 2025, and zero consumption by 2030.
Dr. Lowe added that to enable the national phase out efforts, his Ministry had placed all chemicals subject to the Montreal Protocol on the customs list of Prohibited and Restricted Imports and Exports Order 2010.
???The Government is committed to meeting its obligations under the Montreal Protocol and will do so through the application of a mixed policy and institutional measures that both recognise our responsibility as environmental stewards and minimises the potential hazardous economic impact???,??? the Minister indicated.