Tonga-ozone-award

Tonga deputy prime minister and minister for environment, Siaosi Sovaleni (left) receives the ozone award from UNEP executive director Achim Steiner

THAILAND: UNEP has rewarded India and Tonga for the seizure of contraband R22 and their efforts to enforce ODP regulations.

The Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards were made at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) at the end of May in Bangkok.

Achim Steiner, UNEP executive director and United Nations under-secretary-general who opened the award ceremony explained that environmental enforcement action and efforts needed to be recognised and awarded.

“Environment crime undermines sustainable development. It is not only a threat to species, to habitats and to ecosystems, but also to human health, livelihoods and national economies,” he said.

India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence received an award for successful enforcement operations that led to the seizure of 45,790 cylinders of ozone-depleting chemicals. Tonga’s Ministry of Revenue and Customs was awarded for its global commitment to phasing out ozone-depleting substances, including the seizure of 30 cylinders of R22.