Ozone layer depletion: People urged to play part in protecting the planet

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ISLAMABAD

United Nations (UN) International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer will be celebrated on Sunday in almost all parts of the world.

The day commemorates the date on which the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signing in 1987. It is a global agreement to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS).

This protective sheet by the name ozone layer is wrapped around the planet and plays an important role in shielding human health and the environment.

The stratospheric ozone layer filters out harmful ultraviolet radiation, which is associated with an increased prevalence of skin cancer and cataracts, reduced agricultural productivity, and disruption of marine ecosystems.

On this day marked on September 16, primary and secondary school educators throughout the world organise classroom activities that focus on topics related to the ozone layer, climate change and ozone depletion.

Some teachers use educational packages from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) that have been specifically tailored to address topics about the Earth’s ozone layer.

Other activities that are organised by different community groups, individuals, schools and local organisations across the world include: promotion of ozone-friendly products, special programs and events on saving the ozone layer, the distribution of the UNEP’s public awareness posters to be used for events centred on the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer and the distribution of awards to those who worked hard to protect the Earth’s ozone layer.

In 1987 representatives from 24 countries met in Montreal and announced through a global agreement that it was about time that the damage to the ozone layer is put to a halt.

In so doing, these countries committed themselves, via the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, to rid the world of substances that threaten the ozone layer.

On December 19, 1994, the UN General Assembly proclaimed September 16 to be the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, marking the date when the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed in 1987. The day was first celebrated on September 16, 1995.

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