First Montreal Protocol-related Online Training During the COVID-19 Pandemic
UNEP OzonAction and the Government of Qatar collaborated to launch the first ever Montreal Protocol-related online training during the COVID-19 pandemic. The course, which was spread over two periods of three days, from 30 March to 1 April and from 21 to 23 April, pertained to the implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
Two activities were delivered by the OzonAction’s Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) team in West Asia and Qatar’s National Ozone Unit under the country’s HCFC Phase Out Management Plan. The first activity, a Refrigeration Train-the-Trainer event, was organized in collaboration with the University of Qatar and the Italian Association of Refrigeration Technicians. It aimed at training, assessing, and certifying the trainees’ skills in safe and efficient use of new refrigerants. These refrigerants replace hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are considered to be ozone depleting substances (ODS) under the Montreal Protocol. Due to the pandemic, trainers and trainees were located all over the world and the practical assessment of the trainees’ capacities had to be adapted to remote observation by video.
The second activity brought together over 135 customs and enforcement officers and was organized with the help of the General Customs Authority of Qatar. Divided into groups, the participants were trained on ODS regulations, best practices under the Montreal Protocol to enhance monitoring and control of controlled substances and combating illegal trade. Despite facing many organizational difficulties due to the sanitary context, OzonAction and Qatar’s trainers managed to provide insightful advice to participants on the importance of effective enforcement of Ozone Depleting Substances regulations.
Thanks to collaborative efforts from all partners, who did their utmost to ensure a safe yet enriching and stimulating event, the first remote Montreal Protocol-related course was a great success. OzonAction CAP is now working closely with other countries and partners to pursue similar endeavors in the context of the implementation of the Protocol.
Please visit the website of UNEP OzonAction for more information on this topic.