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UNEP Releases Free Teaching Kits on Ozone Layer & Environmental Protection

The toolkits' first phase aims to provide a springboard into environmental science by educating, raising awareness, and inspiring action among young people about the importance of the ozone layer and the ongoing need to protect it.

Shivam Dwivedi

The United Nations Environment Programme's Ozone Secretariat has used animation and gamification to create innovative teacher lesson plans and student workbooks in support of World Education Day and teachers looking for new material on environmental awareness and protection.

Using the Reset Earth short animations and storylines, the protagonists Knox, Terran, and Sagan bring the storey of how the ozone layer was saved to life for tweens (8-12-year-olds). The toolkits are available for free on the Ozone Secretariat's education platform.

Purpose of Teaching Kits:

The toolkits' first phase aims to provide a springboard into environmental science by educating, raising awareness, and inspiring action among young people about the importance of the ozone layer and the ongoing need to protect it. Phase II, aimed at teenagers, is currently being developed and will be released soon.

The toolkits have been adapted for print and the episodes are available in a comic format for universal access, specifically to meet the increased demand for quality and innovative virtual learning material.

"I cannot emphasize the importance of continued ozone layer protection and the storey of the Montreal Protocol enough in this time of acute climate-change crisis," said Meg Seki, Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat. "It's a storey of hope for our children and grandchildren." It is also a reminder to all of us to strive for global cooperation and partnership in order to develop and implement science-based global environmental policies."

Issue of Ozone Layer Depletion:

The ozone layer is an invisible shield that exists in the stratosphere 15-35 km above the Earth's surface, shielding humans, animals, plants, and vital ecosystems from harmful UV radiation.

Scientists discovered a massive hole in the ozone layer caused by chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) emissions in the 1980s. This man-made chemical was used in a variety of products, including aerosol cans, refrigerators, air conditioners, insulating foams, fire extinguishers, solvents, and many others.

Scientists alerted world leaders and policymakers, who collaborated to control and phase out CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances globally. In 1987, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was ratified.

It has since been universally endorsed by 197 countries and the European Union, making it one of the most successful environmental treaties in history. Because ozone-depleting substances are highly potent greenhouse gases, phasing them out has also contributed significantly to reducing climate change.

However, repairing the ozone layer and returning it to pre-1980 levels will take decades. It will necessitate constant vigilance and protection on the part of the Montreal Protocol community and future generations.

There are numerous environmental challenges that the next generation of young people will face. The storey of the ozone layer and the global collaboration to protect it, on the other hand, is one of hope. The Montreal Protocol serves as a reminder that when the world comes together in cooperation and partnership, guided by science, humanity is capable of resolving major global crises.

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