Enforcement Officers Receive Training on Ozone Depleting Substances
The Environmental Coordinating Unit of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Physical Planning and Fisheries, in partnering with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), facilitated a workshop training module for Customs Officers and other enforcement agencies on November 13th, 2012.
This national training workshop is intended to improve skills in the identification, monitoring and enforcement of trade under the Montreal Protocol Regulations, and to prevent illegal trade of all harmful ozone depleting substances (ODS) and equipment containing them.
Speaking at the workshop, Comptroller of Customs Mr. Roderick De Champs, says in this changing world where most countries use the term clean and green environment, the onus remains on the frontline Customs Officers.
He says the examination of goods is of critical importance to each and every one of them.
Since Dominica conducts trade importation from most countries and we do host persons of various denominations, Mr De Champs says they can never know what is on an individual’s mind to create weapons of mass destruction, so we all have to be prepared.
At customs their preparations are always being tested.
Just last week upon inspection of a container, a raccoon jumped out among the cargo which had to be killed instantly and burnt.
He added that it is important to note that what we may see on the surface, may reveal to be untruthful upon further investigation
He went on to advise all parties involved in the training to do their best to retain as much useful information possible, which will protect themselves on the job while doing a much better job.
Representative of the United Nations Environment Program, Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNEP-ROLAC), pointed out that the green initiative was designed to enhance and compliment customs training efforts.
She also said without adequate capacity to prevent or detect illegal trade through the rest of our links it would all be ineffective.
She added this workshop seeks to phase out ozone depleting substances.
She says in making decisions to phase out ozone depleting substances has to be an environmentally responsible decision, as they would not want to phase out one and use an alternative which may be worst.
Minister of Environment, Natural Resources, Physical Planning and Fisheries, Honourable Kenneth Darroux, says remaining in compliance of the Montreal Protocol and its amendments is key for the success of the treaty.
Mr. Darroux highlighted that the enforcement of international regulations on the trade of these ozone depleting substances, between ports of production to those of demand and consumption, is key to the attainment of economic and environmental benefits to be derived.
He said if we do not take the fight to protect the ozone layer seriously, the characteristics we cherish and boast about could be easily lost forever.
The training workshop was facilitated by UNEP’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, based in Panama.
It was attended by other partners such as the Marine/Coast Guard, Port Authority, Bureau of Standards and the Fire and Ambulance Services.