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UNEP Honours Save The Ozone, Nigeria with Public Awareness Award

INTRODUCTION
The International community‘s effort to protect the fragile ozone layer dates back to 1985, when the Vienna Convention to protect the ozone layer was first signed. Prior to this time, research scientists had alerted the world that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) commonly used as propellants in Aerosols and Refrigeration / Air- conditioning equipment as refrigerant, are capable of depleting the ozone layer. The findings of the scientists amongst others prompted the United Nations Environment Programme to prepare ground for a Treaty to enforce the global effort to protect the ozone layer. This development brought about the signing in 1987 of the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer. It was initially signed by a few developed countries thereafter,several other countries including Nigeria had since signed and ratified both the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol.



ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMMES:


It will be recalled that the United Nations Environment Programme declared 2007 as the International Year of Ozone Layer. Various programmes of activities were put together to celebrate the event. The year also marked the 20th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer. As part of the celebration activities were the awards for key players in the ozone protection process. Our organization “Save The Ozone, Nigeria’’ which also was celebrating her 8th years of establishment in Nigeria, was nominated and given the Montreal Protocol Public Awareness Award THAT SAME YEAR 2007. This award was in recognition of our contribution in raising awareness on ozone layer depletion / ozone friendly alternatives. Save The Ozone, Nigeria was founded in 1999 by Mr. Ozaveshe Ade Balogun, a Refrigeration and Air conditioning Technologist. The organization became operational in 1999, when the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria granted us the Certificate of Incorporation, to operate as a Non-profit making organization (NGO). Save The Ozone, Nigeria (STO3) is the first amongst the few Environmental NGOs operating in Nigeria.



OUR FOCUS:


We specifically devote most of our time, energy and resources in raising the much needed awareness for the benefit of stakeholders, the youths, students and the general public. Also we periodically organize seminars / workshop, symposia and conferences on ways to protect the ozone layer. Ozone Focus Bulletin, the official Newsletter of our organization has helped in no small way to reach wider audience. The organization’s effort in general is to bridge the gap between major stakeholders and the general public. Our effort in this regards prompted the former Hon. Minister of Environment, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Col. Bala Mande (Rtd) to appoint us a member of the National Advsory Ozone Committee (NAOCOM) in 2005. The UNEP Award to the organization Save The Ozone, Nigeria and its Director, Mr. O. A. Balogun, has served as springboard and tonic for greater works. Protecting the ozone layer and the environment to us is a life time investment. In this regard we call for support in cash and kind to meet our various programmes and projects.