Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen graced the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol to take steps towards protecting the ozone layer in Thimphu yesterday.

Dignitaries and senior officials from the government, United Nations, and private sector attended the event organised by National Environment Commission.

At the event, Motithang Park in Thimphu was declared the ‘Ozone Park’.

With the support from Thimphu Thromde, the park was remodeled into an ozone advocacy park. It provides information on ozone history and the countries’ initiatives towards ozone layer protection since the discovery of the ozone hole in early 1980s.

Along with handing over of refrigeration and air condition equipment to labour ministry, a coffee table book that documents 25 years of partnership for environment conservation was also launched.

Bhutan rectified and signed Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer in 2004.

According to the press release from Royal Office for Media, Montreal Protocol has been the most successful environment treaty of the United Nations, and the only one to receive universal endorsement with 197 member states unanimously coming together to phase out chemicals that were damaging the ozone layer. “Protecting the ozone layer remains an important endeavor, and these efforts have been bolstered by Her Majesty’s support as the United Nations Environment Programme Ozone Ambassador. The lesson from the success of the Protocol is being used in efforts to achieve similar collective action for climate change today.”

As a result of the protocol, more than 99 percent of ozone depleting substances have been phased out, and 98 percent of the controlled uses have been replaced with more effective and safer alternatives for ozone layer.

Bhutan has phased out Chlorofluorocarbons in 2010 and is currently working towards phasing out of HCFC (Hydrochlorofluorocarbon) 22. As compared to 2040 by the rest of the countries, Bhutan targets to phase out HCFC 22 by 2025 under the HCFC phase out management plan.

Karma Cheki