The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) praised the initiative of the General Authority of Customs (GAC) for holding the online training programme (the role of customs in the phasing out of ozone harmful substances), which was organised by the Customs Training Centre in co-operation with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment and the UNEP from April 21-23.
The GAC Customs Training Centre organised the programme, which is the first of its kind with the UN, through the newly launched online training and education platform, aiming at starting the implementation of the phase-out plan for ozone-depleting substances in Qatar.
The UNEP reported about this training programme through their official Twitter account in Arabic and English and praised Qatar's efforts in this regard, stressing that the country was proactive in preparing the requirements to participate in this program despite the challenges caused by the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).
During the closing session of the programme, HE Chairman of GAC Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Jamal stressed the authority's interest in this international programme that aims to protect the environment and the phasing out of ozone-depleting substances, indicating GAC's willingness to make all necessary efforts to ensure the success of the program and start implementing it in line with UNEP requirements.
He thanked all those involved in organising this programme and its participants, praising the support provided by the UNEP and the mutual coordination between GAC and the Ministry of Municipality and Environment represented in the Department of Radiation and Chemical Protection, and the efforts of the Customs Training Centre in organising the programme.
The training programme focused on several major axes related to the protection of the ozone layer, the most important of which are the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, the licensing system and the identification of risks to combat illegal trade in these substances, and customs procedures for ozone-depleting substances.
Director of the Customs Training Centre Mubarak al-Buainain emphasised building the capacity for the success of the programme and achieving its goals, pointing to the interaction between the programme participants, who numbered 130 people from all disciplines related to the subject, which made the programme rich with specialised discussions and witnessed an exchange of experiences that benefited all attendees.
He said that GAC plans to continue to implement training programmes remotely, thanks to the activation and launch of the online education platform, stressing that the training centre is constantly developing this platform to become an effective training method and an example to be followed at the regional and international levels.
James Corlin, policy director and ozone action network in the legal division of the UN — Paris Office, stressed his gratitude for the prominent role played by the GAC, in addition to the role of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment and all participants, indicating that the coming period will witness continuous co-operation to implement the national plan for the phase-out of ozone-damaging substances in Qatar through customs as the first line of defence for environmental protection in the countries to reach the optimal commitment set out by the Montreal Protocol in this regard.
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