The ozone layer absorbs all the harmful UV-B radiations emanating from the sun. It protects
plant and animal life from UV-B radiation. The UV-B radiation has the potential to cause skin
cancer, eye cataract, suppress body’s immune system, decrease crop yield etc., which led to the
adoption of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer in 1985 and the
Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987. The mandate of the
Montreal Protocol is to phase out the production and consumption of the Ozone Depleting
Substances (ODSs). India is a party to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone
Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and its all
amendments/adjustments. The MoEF&CC has set up the Ozone Cell as a National Ozone Unit
(NOU) to render necessary services for effective and timely implementation of the protocol and
its ODs phase-out programme in India.
The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its Montreal Protocol on
Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer are the international treaties specific for the protection
of the Stratospheric Ozone (Ozone layer). The Montreal Protocol has been recognized as the
most successful international environmental treaty in history. It has been universally ratified and
all the 197 UN member countries of the world are the parties to the Vienna Convention and its
Montreal Protocol. In the 29 years of operation of the Montreal Protocol, extraordinary
international cooperation under this agreement has led to phase-out of production and
consumption of several major ODSs such as CFCs, CTC and halons globally from 2010.
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
The concern for arresting and reversing land degradation and desertification gets reflected in
many of the national policies (for e.g., National Water Policy 2012; National Forest Policy 1988;
National Agricultural Policy 2000; Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980; Environment (Protection)
Act, 1986, National Environmental Policy, 2006; National Policy for Farmers, 2007; National
Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA)-2007 which have enabling provisions for addressing these
problems. It is also implicit in the coals of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), Sustainable
Agriculture, Sustainable Land Management (SLM) and the overarching goal of Sustainable
development which the country has been pursuing. India became a signatory to the United
Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in 1994. MoEF&CC is the nodal
Ministry in the government of India for the UNCCD, and Desertification cell is the nodal point
within MoEF&CC to co-ordinate all issues pertaining to the convention.
International Cooperation and Sustainable Development
International Cooperation and Sustainable Development (IC&SD) Division of the Ministry
coordinates matters related to international environmental cooperation and sustainable
development including Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
United Nations Environment Programme
India is a member of UNEP and provides annual financial contribution of USD 100,000 to
UNEP Environment Fund. Three of the thirty three members on UNEP’s International Resource
Panel (IRP) are currently from India. The Ministry is a member of the IRP Steering Committee.
IRP supports UNEP’s Resource Efficiency/Sustainable consumption and Production (SCP) sub-