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  UNEP website 13 Sep 05
Two Decades of Protecting the Ozone Layer to be Marked

International Ozone Day to mark the signing of Montreal Protocol on 16 September

Vienna Convention to Celebrate Two Decades of Protecting the Ozone Layer on 21 September

"An extraordinary success story, but saving ozone layer an unfinished business," says UNEP

Nairobi/Paris/Vienna,The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and governments around the world are preparing to celebrate two key milestones on the road to recovery for the world's stratospheric ozone layer: the Montreal Protocol and the Vienna Convention.

"The campaign to protect the ozone layer represents an extraordinary success story, but until emissions of CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances are reduced to zero, saving the ozone layer will remain an unfinished business," said UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer.

This year's Ozone Day theme is "Act Ozone Friendly--Stay Sun Safe".

Although levels of ozone depleting substances in the stratosphere now seem to be at or near their peak, the ozone layer will remain particularly vulnerable during the next decade or so. People must therefore be reminded to protect themselves and their children against the increased ultraviolet radiation reaching the Earth's surface, which can cause skin cancer, cataracts and other illnesses.

The signing of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer on March 1985 when nations agreed in principle to tackle a global environmental problem will be marked in Vienna by two events.

On 19 September, a seminar in Vienna on ozone science, negotiations, technologies and funding will feature Nobel Laureate Mario Molina, former UNEP Executive Director Mustafa Tolba, and former Multilateral Fund Chief Officer Omar El-Arini.

On 21 September the Government of Austria will host an awards ceremony recognizing the contributions of diplomats and scientists who contributed to the Vienna Convention's development. Mr. Toepfer and World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Michel Jarraud will present the awards.

The signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer on 16 September 1987, now celebrated every year as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, will be marked around the world. The Protocol builds on the general framework set out in the Convention by elaborating detailed phase-out schedules for CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances.

Related articles on Global: general environmental issues

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