United Nations Environment Programme
A key factor contributing to the remarkable success of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is the "country-driven approach" promoted by the Executive Committee of the Protocol's Multilateral Fund. This approach places National Ozone Units at the centre of all actions to protect the ozone layer. The Ozone Officer is the single most important element in a national strategy to comply with the Montreal Protocol. How well the officer and his/her team does in their work – developing projects, managing national strategies, reporting data, developing and enforcing policies, working with national and international institutions – directly or indirectly affects the status of their country's compliance with its obligations under this treaty. This means that countries need skilled, committed and consistent focal points. However, there are a number of challenges. The size and efficiency of the National Ozone Units varies in many countries. Some are fully institutionalized in the government programmes, but others are on not. In other cases, the nature of the Montreal Protocol responsibilities results in frequent staff turnovers that may cause gaps in project implementation if the staff transition is not properly managed. A new Ozone Officer or Assistant Ozone Officer will need guidance, information and advice to understand the issues and work efficiently and quickly to meet Montreal Protocol targets.
Since 1991, UN Environment OzonAction has devoted itself to supporting and strengthening National Ozone Units in all 147 developing countries. The Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) uses a participatory approach that draws on the experience of numerous NOOs, guidance from international agencies and individual experts. UN Environment promotes learning and skill growth through sharing the collective wisdom of the wider community of Ozone Officers who are leading National Ozone Units.