Imagine a day where basking out in the sun would turn out to be extremely fatal due to the excessive ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Thankfully we are safe to bask peacefully in the sun especially during the cold chilling winter because of the ozone layer which acts as our guardian angel. It helps in protecting the earth from the harmful radiations of the sun thus preserving life on the planet Earth. My question is..Do we really care about the well being of ozone which has been our protector since the inception of time? Had it not been for the Montreal protocol, things could have been very different and disastrous. Montreal protocol, which was signed three decades ago, is considered as the most impeccable international agreement till date. Initially it was signed by 46 countries; the treaty now has nearly 200 signatories. It is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion. The good news is that Montreal Protocol has aided in phasing out 99 per cent of ozone-depleting chemicals in refrigerators, air-conditioners and many other products. The latest Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion completed in 2018 has shown that parts of the ozone layer have recovered at a rate of 1-3% per decade since 2000. . In this modern generation, each one of us is well versed about the consequences of ozone depletion. The effects might not be paramount at present but if we do not regulate it properly, it might cause some serious destruction to the entire human race. Today, as the world celebrate international ozone day, we must celebrate our success and also encourage every individual to continue and contribute in healing and protecting the ozone. Now, how do we go about in our contribution as individuals?? Well, awareness is definitely the first step and through the following ways we can play our part although simple and small it may appear –
1. Purchasing a refrigerator or air conditioner which is CFC-free.
2. Reducing the use of heating and air-conditioning.
3. Preventing and minimise refrigerant leakage.
4. Minimising the use of vehicles.
5. Follow 4R’s policy-reduce, reuse, refuse and recycle things at home and school.
Nature has given us so much and the least we can do is join hands to protect our environment by reaching out to the rest of the world, so why wait for politicians to implement policies to protect the ozone layer when we can create one ourselves! Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Even though changes in nature are inevitable, we must stand firm in shouldering our personal responsibilities and act as the torch bearers in protecting the environment for the present as well as for future generations.
T Yanshen Ezung
Forestry Graduates Association of Nagaland