Summaries for Interlinkages
Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol

The Convention Secretariat:
The Secretariat for the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol, P.O. Box 30552, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: (254-2)62-1234 or 62-3851
Fax: (254-2)62-3601 or 62-3913

The Ozone Layer is found in the stratosphere between 10 - 50km above the ground. Ozone molecules have three atoms of oxygen instead of the normal two. The Ozone Layer protects us from the harmful effects of certain wavelengths of ultra-violet (UV) light from the sun, specifically UV-B. Any significant decrease in ozone in the stratosphere would result in an increase of UV-B radiation reaching the earth surface.

Increases in levels of UV-B radiation can result in the increase in skin cancers, suppress the immune system, exacerbate eye disorders including cataracts and affect plants, animals and plastic materials.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) invented in 1928 found many uses in aerosols, foams, refrigeration, air conditioners, solvents, fire extinguishers etc. These CFCs are long lived, their emissions reach the stratosphere and cause ozone depletion. This ozone depletion has been dramatically confirmed through the Antarctic "Ozone Hole" discovered in 1985 and observations, since then, of ozone depletion in the middle and higher latitudes.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been addressing this issue since 1977. Under the auspices of UNEP, the Governments of the world arrived at The Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer in 1985. Through this Convention, governments committed themselves to protect the ozone layer and to co-operate with each other in scientific research to improve understanding of the atmospheric processes.

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