Licensing pressure could spur more compliance from cooling companies – 17-09-2004
Speaking to the press Thursday September 16 during the opening of an exhibition at the National Library to commemorate World Ozone Day, environment principal secretary Rolph Payet said that starting next year, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources will recommend to the Seychelles Licensing Authority that technicians and companies without certificates from short training sessions organised by the ministry on best practices for refrigerant techniques should not be granted a license.
The potential measure stems from concerns over whether different gases and chemicals being used in refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners are being recycled or disposed of properly.
Under the Montreal Protocol ratified in 1993, Seychelles has an obligation to bring its consumption of R12 gas, which is considered harmful to the Earth’s ozone layer, to zero by January 1.
Scientists believe that damage to the ozone layer can increase the amount of ultra-violet radiation that enters the atmosphere, increasing health risks.
“It’s a very important time,” Mr Payet said of the upcoming ban on the gases. “I know (the technicians) are busy, but this is very important.”
Thursday’s exhibition, attended by Minister Ronny Jumeau and other senior ministry officials, saw 30 refrigerant technicians who have already taken the two-day course receive certificates for their efforts.
Environment officials also presented recycled fridges and freezers donated to the Ste Elizabeth Convent, Foyer de Nazareth and the Ministry of Health.
Officials with the National Ozone Unit said the training courses, which are organised by the ministry and conducted at the Industrial Training Centre through professional technicians, will probably be held twice a year.
Technicians undertaking the course include individuals from both ministries and the private sector, such as the Directorate for Civil Aviation and Oceana Fisheries, respectively, officials said.