The 10th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol (MP) marks an important event in the history of efforts to control the negative impact of human activities on the environment. The necessity to protect the earth's stratosphere from anthropogenic ozone depletion does not require any further debate. The measures taken up to now, however, only show limited impact. There are many reasons for this, amongst which commercial interests, attitudes and awareness play an important part.
The German Government supports international and national efforts to protect the ozone layer. One activity field includes substitution of methyl bromide (MB) which contributes substantially to ozone depletion. German development cooperation is carried out in line with the postulates of Agenda 21, the central document of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio in 1992.
The rapid phase-out of MB in developing countries (which are called Article 5 (A5) countries in the MP) has a high priority within the agricultural and environmental activities of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, which implements technical cooperation on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ1).
In the field of MB use, orientation towards short-term profits often prevents the timely implementation of sustainable solutions. GTZ wishes to counterbalance such tendencies and to assist its partner countries in introducing economically viable alternatives as soon as possible. Therefore, some of the objectives presented in this brochure go beyond the agreements made so far by the parties of the MP. It is our hope that our partner countries and other donors will follow the approach presented in this brochure and engage in multilateral dialogue.
This brochure presents an overview of the German position, objectives, activities and future programme of technical cooperation with regard to substituting MB in A5 countries of the MP. A compendium of possible alternatives and integrated management strategies is also included. The alternative techniques presented in this brochure are not exclusively based on new developments, but include suitable old alternatives that were in use before and during the time MB was applied. The alternatives are to be applied and adapted according to local conditions and needs. Further techniques will be documented and promoted after relevant information has been collected (e.g. in practice-oriented field tests).
The German Federal Government supports international organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the World Bank in implementing the MP. The German Government has also commissioned GTZ to implement bilateral projects related to the MP. This publication addresses decision makers, those associated with food production and export/import activities, regulatory authorities and other persons and institutions involved in the issue of MB substitution.
GTZ is strongly convinced that alternatives are available for most of the MB uses in developing countries: Therefore, an extensive chapter on alternatives is included in which information on technical and economic features is given.
The brochure is structured as follows:
Chapter 1 summarises the environmental and health hazards connected with MB.
Chapter 2 lists information on MB consumption and describes the main uses in A5 countries.
In chapter 3 a compendium of feasible alternatives is given that is intended to provide decision makers with precise information. Details of the application, however, such as the safety aspects in using alternative chemicals, cannot be dealt with here. These and other technical topics will be incorporated in extensive training activities planned in the very near future.
Chapter 4 summarises economic issues like cost comparisons of MB application and alternative treatments, effects of alternatives on yields, hidden costs of MB use and a general overview of the benefits of the MB phase-out.
Chapter 5 gives a brief insight into the principles of German development policy with particular reference to sustainable development and environmental issues.
The past and present German development cooperation activities related to substituting MB are presented in chapter 6.
Future training programmes and other activities are described in chapter 7.
Chapter 8 outlines recommendations to assist MB substitution. They are addressed to the governments of A5 countries, to producers, trade companies, importing countries and to the donor community.
Alternatives to the use of methyl bromide in quarantine are also presented in this brochure. We would like to emphasise this point, as the Montreal Protocol does not provide specific proposals for quarantine.
An executive summary of all chapters precedes the brochure.
Albert Bell Peter Störmer
Post-harvest Section PROKLIMA Project
1 Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung