By Olimatou Coker
At least 30 environmental inspectors from across the country have benefited from a daylong capacity building training recently held at NAQAA offices in Kanifing. The objective of this training is to equip the environmental inspectors with the necessary knowledge needed for the protection of the ozone layer.
Speaking at the training, Sheikh Alkinky Sanyang, programme officer for environmental awareness and communication at the NEA, said the training is in line with the celebration of the international Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, which was set aside by the United Nations to create awareness on the dangers created by ozone depletion.
He said this year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer.
Muhammad Denton, director of administration and finance at the NEA, said in the mid-1970s, it was discovered that some human produced chemicals could lead to depletion of the ozone layer.
He added that the resulting increase in ultraviolet radiation at earth’s surface would likely increase the incidences of skin cancer and eye cataracts, and also adversely affect plants, crops, and ocean plankton. Denton also said following the discovery of these environmental issues, researchers sought a better understanding of the threat to the ozone layer.
“The Gambia has ratified a number of treaties on environment including the Vienna Convention for the protection for the ozone layer and Montreal on substances that deplete the ozone layer and all its amendments in 1990,” he said.
BaFoday Sanyang , programme officer for ozone depletion, said the day is observed on 16 September every year by 197 countries that ratified the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer.
The ozone layer is a fragile shield of gas that protects the earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet.
“Since the training will focus more on the milestone of Montreal Protocol and its amendments, it is important to note that the Montreal Protocol is the greatest success story of environment cooperation in history and perhaps the most successful international accord ever signed,” he claimed.