By Kaleb Nghishidivali
WINDHOEK, Sept. 9 – Hon. Lucia Iipumbu, the Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, has affirmed Namibia’s unwavering commitment to phasing out the importation of ozone-depleting substances (ODS). During her address at the National Ozone Unit and Customs Twinning Workshop and Border Dialogue for SADC region – Anglophone Network countries, Minister Iipumbu underscored Namibia’s dedication to safeguarding the ozone layer and advancing sustainable chemical management practices.
Namibia is a signatory to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty aimed at preserving the ozone layer by gradually eliminating the production and use of ODS. The protocol has achieved remarkable success, with the ozone layer on track to recover by the middle of this century.
Minister Iipumbu outlined several measures taken by Namibia to phase out ODS, including:
1. Prohibiting the importation of equipment containing Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
2. Gradually phasing out Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-based equipment.
3. Imposing import permit requirements for Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
4. Aligning legislation with neighbouring countries for harmonized regulation.
5. Collaborating closely with Customs and Excise officials to combat illicit ODS trade.
Furthermore, Iipumbu emphasized Namibia’s commitment to promoting sustainable chemical management through a range of policies and programs aimed at reducing the use of hazardous chemicals while advocating for environmentally friendly alternatives.
Representatives from other SADC countries warmly welcomed Minister Iipumbu’s remarks, expressing their support for Namibia’s efforts to safeguard the ozone layer and foster sustainable chemical management.
The National Ozone Unit and the SADC Secretariat organized the successful workshop and border dialogue, convening participants from Customs and Excise departments, environment ministries, and other relevant agencies across SADC nations. The primary objective of the event was to facilitate the exchange of experiences and best practices in combating the illicit trade of ODS.
Participants unanimously agreed to enhance regional cooperation in this domain and committed to holding regular meetings to track progress and address emerging challenges.
Namibia’s proactive stance in protecting the ozone layer serves as a positive example for other nations. The country’s proactive measures and dedication to regional collaboration are poised to contribute to a more environmentally sustainable and secure future for all. – Namibia Daily News