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Bhutan: The world’s shining example in environmental protection
16 May 2012, Thimphu: Bhutan celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol with global partners in Thimphu. Her Majesty Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck graced the occasion. During the event, the Gyaltsuen was awarded the Ambassadorship on Ozone by the representative of the Montreal Protocol Secretariat.
Bhutan signed the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Depletes the Ozone Layer in 2004. Since then the country has achieved milestones in environment protection activities. Through its Hydro-Chloro-Fluoro Carbon (HCFC) Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP), Bhutan made a historic commitment to phase out HCFCs, which are both ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and powerful greenhouse gases (GHGs), ten years ahead of the Montreal Protocol schedule.
In addition, the Government has committed to achieving the following action plan to accelerate the HCFC phase-out. The action plans seek to support the commitment of Carbon Neutrality that has already been announced, through:
(a) Ensuring that the implementation of HPMP would result in additional GHG mitigation of 9.5% of the annual emissions of 1.5 million tons of CO2-eq.
(b) Being the first step as a part of the comprehensive strategy being unveiled for preserving the unique status of our country in terms of being a large sink of GHG emissions.
The HPMP project of Bhutan, supported by the Multilateral Fund with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as lead implementing agency and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as cooperating agency, aims to enable the country to meet its HCFC phase-out obligations towards the Montreal Protocol.
The event also featured a cultural programme where, among others, students presented the Bhutan Ozone Theme Song which carried important messages on the protection of the ozone layer:
"Ozone is fast depleting, so let's stop waiting. Opt for Ozone friendly alternatives, Unite to heal the ailing Ozone layer. Let's not risk the future, let's act while we can, for we have only one world, one World"
The event was hosted by the National Environment Commission (NEC). The NEC is high-level autonomous agency of the Royal Government and is mandated to look after all issues related to environment in Bhutan.
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