Wed, 08 Feb 2012 07:14:21 GMT

UN launches project to combat illegal trade of ODS

Bangkok, Feb 8 (PTI) Stepping up its fight against illegal trade of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and harmful chemicals and hazardous waste, a UN body today launched an ambitious project to prevent and detect smuggling of these substances in the Asia Pacific region.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in cooperation with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) launched the USD 1.56 million Regional Enforcement Network for Chemicals and Waste (project REN) here today.

"As the most populous region, Asia is the largest producer and consumer of ODS in the world, while production and consumption of a wide range of other chemicals is growing rapidly," Atul Bagai, Senior Regional Network Coordinator of UNEP''s OzonAction Programme said.

Asia is also the major destination for dumping of hazardous waste, he said.

Project REN aims to combat smuggling of harmful substances and hazardous waste in Asia.

It will do this by improving global and regional enforcement cooperation and by training customs officers and other key enforcement officers to monitor and control cross border movements of chemicals and waste more efficiently, Dr Young-Woo Park, UNEP chief said at the launch.

Unwanted trade of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) remains a concern for the next 10 years at least in particular for Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) which are commonly used as propellant and in air conditioning applications as developing countries are heading for their phase out.

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