World Ozone Day or International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer observed annually on September 16, is meant to raise awareness about the importance of the ozone layer and how its depletion is leading to global warming and climate change across the world. Notably, a fragile shield of gas, called the ozone layer, protects the Earth from the harmful rays of the sun. However, this layer is threatened by industrial and other forms of pollution. The ozone layer began to thin in the 1970s due to the release of ODS (ozone-depleting substance) into the atmosphere. This day aims to raise awareness about the depletion of the ozone layer and explore ways to protect it.
The ongoing healing of the ozone layer is an inspirational example of how the world can come together to address global challenges, such as the climate crisis.
— United Nations (@UN) September 15, 2023
The day is recognised to commemorate the Montreal Protocol, an environmental agreement that regulates the production and consumption of nearly 100 man-made chemicals referred to as ozone-depleting substances (ODS). It was adopted in 1987 and is the only UN treaty that has been ratified by all 198 member-states. In 1994, the UN General Assembly declared September 16 as the International Day for the Prevention of the Ozone Layer. The Montreal Protocol’s main objective is to protect the ozone layer by curbing global production and consumption of substances that deplete it.
Every year, World Ozone Day is celebrated with a theme for targeted results. The theme of World Ozone Day 2023 is ”Montreal Protocol: Fixing the Ozone Layer and Reducing Climate Change.”
The significance of this day is to make people understand the importance of the Ozone layer and ways to preserve it. The thinning of the ozone layer, if left unchecked, will eventually expose humans to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, particularly the harmful UVB-type radiation, known to cause skin cancer and induce cataract formation. They are also known to cause damage to plants and marine ecosystems, in addition to causing global warming.
In order to prevent ozone layer depletion, it is important to avoid the usage of products with CFCs such as hair sprays, cosmetics, and aerosols in plastic containers. Plant more trees, use environment-friendly fertilisers, and eco-friendly modes of communication. Avoid the use of plastic and rubber tires.
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