The World Ozone Day-2023 was observed in the country as elsewhere across the world on Saturday (September 16) with the theme ‘Montreal Protocol: fixing the ozone layer and reducing climate change’.
On the occasion, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and several other environmental and rights platforms organised various programmes in Dhaka and other parts of the country.
The Department of Environment (DoE) under the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry brought a colourful procession from in front of the National Museum in the capital on Saturday morning to mark the World Ozone Day
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin inaugurated the event as the chief guest by releasing balloons.
While delivering the opening speech at a brief rally in front of the National Museum, Md Shahab Uddin said that the people should come forward to prevent ozone depletion by using chlorofluorocarbon- and hydrofluorocarbon-free air conditioners and refrigerators. Technicians must ensure that ozone-depleting substances are not emitted into the air, he added.
The minister also said that the media can play a vital role in creating public awareness about the importance of the ozone layer.
He said that harmful ultraviolet rays cause skin cancer and cataracts and weaken the immune system, adding that the ozone layer is getting depleted due to the effect of CFCs, methane gas, etc. “These are commonly used in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, inhalers, and in making plastic foam. It will be good for all of us if we stop using appliances containing ozone-depleting CFCs and HFCs,” he added.
To mark the day, the Center for Atmospheric Pollution Studies (CAPS) and Department of Environmental Sciences of Stamford University Bangladesh jointly arranged a webinar in collaboration with Compass Program, US Forest International Service.
Speakers of the webinar said that variation in the presence of ozone gas in the air on the one hand worsens the air quality and on the other hand it creates the context of global warming and climate change.
Professor Dr. Gulshan Ara Latifa, a full time member of Bangladesh Accreditation Council; presided over the event; while Professor Dr. Ahmad Kamruzzaman Majumder, chairman of CAPS; presented the keynote speech. Professor Dr. Adil Mohammad Khan, executive director of IPD; joined the event as the chief guest, while Dr. Mahmuda Parveen, Mahmuda Islam, Humayun Kabir, Eng. Nasir Ahmed, Eng. Marziat Rahman and Abdul Wahab spoke on the occasion, among others.
In his keynote speech, Professor Dr. Ahmad Kamruzzaman Majumder said, “There are two types of ozone. One type of ozone that remains at the earth’s surface is called ground level ozone, the other is in the stratosphere of the earth’s atmosphere known as the ozone layer or ozonosphere. This is known as good ozone. This ozone layer in space blocks the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays from entering the earth. Ozone gas is known as a short-lived climate pollutant and is one of the major air pollutants. Variation in the presence of ozone gas in the air on the one hand worsens the air quality and on the other hand it creates the context of global warming and climate change”.