BRIEF ON THE USAGE AND STATUS OF METHYL BROMIDE IN PNG
The First Extraordinary meeting which was held in Canada on the 14-16 March 2004 decided that there must be further adjustments reductions to the use of methyl bromide in order to control and eventually phase-out the chemical for the period beyond 2005 for the Parties operating under paragraph 1 of Article: Though PNG is included in paragraph 1 of Article 5, it however uses the chemical only for Quarantine and Pre-Shipment (QPS) and not any other use like soil treatment/ fumigation in the agriculture sector.
Most of the decisions taken and discussed at the Extraordinary Meeting of the Parties did no have serious implications on PNG as the usage in PNG is only restricted to Quarantine and Pre-Shipment (QPS). The use of methyl bromide in the sector of QPS including the treatment of timber is exempted from restrictions and is allowable by the Montreal Protocol.
The Department of Environment and Conservation being the implementing agency, which regulates the import and use of methyl bromide and other O.D.S’s, has been in close contact with major stakeholders. Given the Environment Act 2000, it is an offence to use methyl bromide (ODS) for other purpose apart from QPS.
Methyl bromide is set to be phased-out by 2015 in developing countries and by 2005 in developed countries. As such, there was decision reached at the 15th meeting of the parties held Nairobi in 2003 to put in place for countries to apply for Critical Use Exemption (CUE’s) and which means they will have to be nominated (Critical Use Nomination) for the committee to decide if the party concerned is to be granted a CUE. However, large quantities of Critical Use Nominations had already caused significant negative impact in the willingness of Article 5 Parties to phase out early. It would also be useful to keep in mind that CUE’s may not be equal to the actual consumption of methyl bromide set by the Montreal Protocol Controls.
Emphasis is once again made here that the phase out time of 2015 will not affect PNG/ timber treatment in PNG as PNG use it only for QPS until such times when there are economic and feasible alternatives made available.
Further information can be sought from:
The Executive Officer
Forest Industries Association
P.O. Box 229,
Papua New Guinea