Thursday, 11 June 2015

National Ozone Unit Public Awareness and Training Activities

During the period April - June 2015, the National Ozone Unit (NOU), a specialised of the Environmental Policy and Planning Division (EPPD), Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) had several initiatives in their efforts to minimise the consumption of ozone depleting substances and thus, fulfill the requirements of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. These initiatives included:

School Sensitisation Programmes:

With the aim of increasing public awareness, the NOU conducted  sensitisation programmes in schools across the country during the months May to June, 2015. 
Students were educated on the Montreal Protocol, the Ozone Layer and its depletion, and current initiatives being undertaken by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago as well as the NOU shared tips for protecting oneself from the sun’s harmful UV rays .

The NOU has presented to classes ranging from lower primary school to Form Six.  Schools visited included:
  • Mucurapo Girls’  RC School (May 1, 2015) 
  • Barrackpore East Secondary (June 2, 2015) 
  • Parvati Girls’ Hindu College (June 5, 2015) 
  •  Arouca Government Primary (June 11, 2015) 
  •  ASJA Boys’ College (March 18, 2015)
Ms. Krysten Harris of the NOU, MEWR facilitating a  sensitisation session with students of Mucurapo Girls


Stakeholder Engagement:

New applicants for loans and mortgages can look out for useful information on making smart choices when purchasing equipment such as air conditioning unit and domestic refrigerators for their homes.

The National Ozone Unit held a sensitisation session on April 14, 2015 with members of the financial sector to develop a collaboration which would be used to disseminate information to consumers and homeowners. This will be done through brochures and the uploading of information to the various websites. The participants were very interested in the partnership and took part actively in the discussions.

Dr. Marissa Gowrie, National Ozone Officer conducting  sensitisation with members of the financial sector.


Training Sessions: 

As part of the effort to strengthen the regulatory monitoring of the import of ozone depleting substances (ODS), the National Ozone Unit  (NOU) is continuing its sensitisation of customs brokers. On May 12, 2015 the NOU also has commenced its partnership with the Customs Training School in Port of Spain to impart knowledge, examples and up to date information on these substances. 

Ms. Neera Singh facilitating the training session with participants from the Customs Training School, Port-of-Spain (May 12, 2015)

In addition, on May 19, 2015 the NOU visited Huggins Shipping in Port of Spain to continue its company specific training sessions. The session was well received by the officers and the offer has been extended to other sections of the company. 

Ms. Neera Singh conducting the training session with Huggins Shipping and Customs Brokerage company, May 19th, 2015

In continuation of its promotion of hydrocarbon as an alternative refrigerant, which is ozone friendly as well as climate friendly, the NOU conducted a hydrocarbon training in south Trinidad on Saturday May 23, 2015. The session was facilitated by Mr. Anthony Banfield, (Flavorite Foods Limited and Hydrocarbon trainer) focused on proper refrigeration practices including safe handling of refrigerant and equipment. The practical session exposed participants to new technology in the air conditioning and refrigeration sector using hydro-carbon refrigerant. 

Mr. Anthony Banfield facilitating the training on hydrocarbons in south Trinidad.
Methyl Bromide has been phased out for non-quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) since January 1, 2015 but its use is still allowed for QPS though strictly controlled through a licensing system. In this regard, on June 10, 2015 the NOU conducted a sensitisation session for the Pest Risk Management Unit at Centeno to provide some up to date information on some of the alternatives available for methyl bromide for QPS.
Mr. Anthony Ramdeen (Consultant for the Methyl Bromide Phase-Out Project) facilitating the session on alternatives of Methyl Bromide.


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