Barbados has achieved its 2015 compliance target of 10 per cent reduction in the island???s consumption of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).

And, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, Edison Alleyne, said the country should also meet its 35 per cent reduction target by 2020, with the sustained implementation of the provisions of its HCFC Phase-out Management Plan as provided under the Montreal Protocol.

Mr. Alleyne made these comments today as he addressed a stakeholder briefing and National Ozone Depleting Substances Phase-Out Support Scholarship award ceremony at the Savannah Hotel.

???These provisions include the review and implementation of standards for the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning sector; establishment of legislation that addresses trade in all refrigerants; certification and licensing of technicians; banning the importation of HCFC consuming equipment; the training and retraining of technicians; the training and retraining of Enforcement and Licensing Officers; and the execution of public education and awareness programmes,??? he said.

The Permanent Secretary explained that since becoming a signatory to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer, Barbados, through the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, undertook a sustained public awareness and capacity building programme which ranged from general presentations to engaging targeted programmes with stakeholders.

Among the key activities and achievements accomplished are the training and retraining of 278 Enforcement Officers in the provisions of the Customs (List of Prohibited and Restricted Imports and Exports) Order 2009, and the 2010 Amendment Order.??Similar training exercises have also been conducted for Officers in the Department of Commerce responsible for issuing the Import/Export Licence, Customs Brokers and major distributors.

Meanwhile, training and retraining sessions for 61 refrigeration and air conditioning technicians and 26 mobile air conditioning technicians were completed in 2011 in the areas of Good Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Practices, and in the use of alternative refrigerants.

???During the period 1997 to 1999, and in 2012, the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage [also] distributed recovery and reclamation equipment and related spare parts to technicians involved in the refrigeration and air conditioning, and mobile air conditioning sectors respectively,??? Mr. Alleyne said.

He explained that was in support of the principles of good refrigeration and air conditioning practices reiterated during the training workshops.??However, while the country has made significant strides, the Permanent Secretary stressed that there was still work to be done in the area. He therefore encouraged stakeholders and partners to continue working with the Ministry to maintain its good record of compliance with the Montreal Protocol.

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