BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA
The Hydro Chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are still the main concerns for Cambodia in which they will destroy the ozone layer and are braking down in the lowest part of the atmosphere. To combat the use of HCFCs in Cambodia, the government is now working hard in making strategic plans for the HCFC phase out, according to the government officials.
Khieu Muth, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Environment, said that HCFCs are main concerns for Cambodia. They are now using them for refrigeration, aerosol propellants, foam manufacture and air conditioning in Cambodia. He added that HCFCs have affected us on the lowest part of the atmosphere, and pose a much smaller risk to the Ozone layer which will lead to having the climate change.
“To combat HCFCs, the Ministry of Environment is in collaboration with other concerned ministries and NGOs and now are working hard in protecting the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of mankind,” he said during his opening remarks delivered to the “National Consultative Workshop on HCFC Phase-out Management Plan of Cambodia,” on March 16th in Phnom Penh.
He said that his ministry has also conducted climate change workshops and trainings and awareness rising, climate change national institutional strengthening; improving national greenhouse gas inventory; vulnerable and Adaptation Assessment; and other national and international cooperation and network.
Muth said that his ministry has also provided training for service technicians and giving equipment support for HCFC recovery and re-use, including recovery unit, mini reclaim unit, accessories and tools. He added that the government has also projects approved for the chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) phase out both investments and non-investment components in Cambodia. So far, there are fourteen companies that have registered with the Ministry of Environment as importers of ozone depleting substances in Cambodia with four new importers that have registered in 2009. The import of HCFCs in 2009 came from China, India, Malaysia, and Singapore.
He added that so far, over 500 million HCFCs have been reduced in Cambodia.
Dr. Thanavat Junchaya, United Nations Environment Program’s Representative, said that on January 1st, 2010 was a landmark date for Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer as all countries in the world must stop the import and export of EFCs and other ozone depleting substances.
“On this note, I would like to congratulate Cambodia for their excellent implementation thus far,” he said.
He stated that when UNEP and UNDP first provided their technical assistances to Cambodia through the formulation and implementation of country program and Refrigerant Management Plan in 2004, they were quite concerned that Cambodia might not be able to meet the phase out targets and would fall into non-compliance with the Montreal Protocol since Cambodia joined the Ozone family quite late compared with other countries and had to make significant reductions of ODS in a relatively short time.
“The hard work carried out by the Ministry of Environment-with the support of other government departments along with cooperation from the private sectors, had enabled Cambodia to meet the phase out targets so far. I am quite certain that Cambodia will achieve 100 percent phase out of CFCs and other ozone depleting substances from this year onward,” he said.
He commented on that Cambodia is now facing another difficult challenge which is to start preparing for phase out of HCFCs for short. Cambodia has seen the import and consumption of HCFCs rise almost 300 percent from 2003 to 2008 and the trend is likely to continue increasing. However, Cambodia will need to control the consumption starting with the freeze in 2013 and 10 percent reduction in 2015.
“The UNEP and UNDP are pleased to join hands once again to provide our assistance to Cambodia to prepare HCFC phase out management plan or HPMP. The process started one year ago when the HPMP workshop was held to start the data survey and collect information on HCFCs import and supply chain, its use in different sectors and the servicing infrastructure,” he said. ////