Solomon Islands last week joined other members of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol Treaty to celebrate the Treaty’s 25th Anniversary in Thailand.

Delivering the Solomon Islands country statement last week, Permanent Secretary of Forestry and Research and Supervising Permanent Secretary for Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification Barnabas Anga said the Montreal Protocol Treaty has been very successful in addressing issues on Ozone depletion and to some extent climate change related issues.

“In that regard, I hope that the lessons learnt and cooperation made in implementing this Treaty could also be adapted to other Treaties including the Kyoto Protocol,”

“It is a worthy celebration, when we had reached and have come past the Twenty-fifth anniversary of the Montreal Protocol,” Mr Anga said.

Mr Anga told delegates that the Solomon Islands’ economy though small, is very much dependent on Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and a portion in tourism, as well as very vulnerable to natural disasters.

“As a developing nation, the decision on phasing out of Hydro Chlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) had been a difficult one to take. However Solomon Islands support the management plan in phasing out of HCFCs,” he explained.

Currently, the Solomon Islands Customs and Excise Act now prohibit imports and exports of all CFC substances and Halon, except for essential use and restrict imports and exports of HCFCs and all substance for essential use.

“In other words, all importers and exporters are required to comply with our systems when handling of ozone depleting substances,” he said.

Mr Anga also added that compliance is a state responsibility but this seems not to be the case in the 12 Islands regional project under the present arrangements.

As a result, Solomon Islands joined other Small Island Nations of the Pacific to call for the inclusion of a representative from these island nations in the Executive Committee to ensure the voices of island nations are heard.

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (a protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer) is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion.

The treaty was opened for signature on 16 September 1987, and entered into force on 1 January 1989, followed by a first meeting in Helsinki, May 1989. Since then, it has undergone seven revisions, in 1990 (London), 1991 (Nairobi), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1993 (Bangkok), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), and 1999 (Beijing). It is believed that if the international agreement is adhered to, the ozone layer is expected to recover by 2050.

Due to its widespread adoption and implementation it has been hailed as an example of exceptional international co-operation, with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan quoted as saying that "perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date has been the Montreal Protocol".

Press Release: GCU