The Ministry of Environment regards the observance of the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer as a profoundly meaningful event aimed at raising public awareness about the necessity and importance of caring for and protecting the natural filter which shields the planet from harmful ultraviolet rays.

The Ozone Secretariat of the UN Environment Programme designated September 16 as “World Ozone Day” in 1995 to commemorate the establishment of the 1987 Montreal Protocol, an international treaty aimed at ending the production of chemicals which deplete the layer.

The ministry urged collective participation in this year’s celebrations, centred around the theme “The Montreal Protocol: Fixing the Ozone Layer and Reducing Climate Change”. The goal was to clarify the layer’s importance for life on Earth and to encourage greater public participation in its care and protection, as well as in global warming reduction efforts.

In a letter the same day, the ministry noted that this year also marks the 38th anniversary of the 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the 36th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. It also highlighted the ministry’s achievements and progress in protecting the shield.

As a party to these international agreements, the Kingdom has actively engaged in discontinuing the use of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) since 2010. The country is also committed to managing Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in accordance with the stipulations of the protocol.

Furthering these initiatives, Cambodia recently introduced the Environment and Natural Resources Code. It aims to implement the Kigali Amendment to the protocol for managing CFCs, which it ratified on April 8, 2021. This move was made in the hope that global temperatures could be reduced by 0.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the decade.

“In this regard, the nation remains committed to continuing its collaborative efforts with the international community to successfully fulfil its obligations. This ensures the effective lessening and elimination of substances that deplete the atmospheric screen, as well as potential substances that contribute to global warming,” stated the ministry.

“This strategy is mutually beneficial for both the economy and addressing climate change issues,” it added.

The ministry concluded by pointing out the serious threats facing the ozone barrier, including degradation caused by CFCs and HCFCs often found in older generation equipment and certain canned products. Apart from harming the Earth’s natural protection, these substances also have the potential to exacerbate planetary warming.