Botswana has introduced payment fees for obtaining a permit to get rid of ozone-depleting substances (ODS). Authorities say the action will have an immediate effect on the import and export of such substances.
“These gases destroy the ozone layer that primarily protects the Earth from the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun that are hazardous to people’s lives and property,” said Onalenna Mokgachane, spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism.
Mokgachane added that the fees will be in accordance with the Ozone Depleting Substances Regulations of 2014, which the country established and gazetted on Nov. 28, 2014 under the National Meteorological Services Act 2014.
The ODS are gases that are primarily used as coolants, such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons used in refrigeration and air-conditioning, while others are used as propellants, fumigants and fire extinguishers.
Most countries have adopted the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone layer signed in 1985 and the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987, and Botswana entered into both treaties in 1992.
Under the protocols, Botswana is required to control, monitor, report on the consumption of the ODS, promote friendlier alternatives as well as raise awareness in the country to ensure compliance with the protocols.