The Cooperative Republic of Guyana acceded to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer on August 12, 1993 and subsequently ratified the London Amendment, Copenhagen Amendment and Montreal Amendment on July 23, 1999.
Guyana was identified as a low volume consumer (LVC) and as an Article 5 country. With the assistance of the Multilateral Fund (MLF) through its implementing agency – the United Nations Environment Programme and the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNEP/ROLAC), the approved Country Programme was formulated.
This provided the basis for the designated focal point for the Montreal Protocol – the Ministry of Agriculture, Hydrometeorological Service (HYMS) – to establish the National Ozone Action Unit (NOAU).
The NOAU/HYMS is responsible for coordinating and monitoring all activities towards the smooth phase-out of man-made Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) in Guyana.
Ultimately, the objective is to cease the emission of all ODS – chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, methyl bromide, etc – into the atmosphere where it destroys the protective Ozone Layer. The Ozone Layer acts as a ‘shield’ against the sun’s harmful Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. Excessive exposure to UVB rays can lead to skin cancers, cataracts and weakened immune systems.