blog written by Rajendra Shende, Head of the OzonAction Branch,
in his personal capacity. This blog does not reflect the policy
or position of UNEP or the DTIE OzonAction Branch.
By Rajendra Shende19 October 2010
Christopher Langan had an IQ of over 195, whereas
Albert Einstein's was 150. Mr. Langan ended up working on a horse
farm in rural Missouri, USA, whereas Einstein - well we all know
of his achievements after leaving the patent office in Bern. The
scoop behind the" success stories" around the world
is as follows: however smart, ambitious and hard-working an individual
may be, he or she cannot succeed without an enabling environment
and without supportive network of humans.
I strongly believe that what is true for an individual is also
true for Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). The smartest
Convention with ambitious targets and creative mechanisms coupled
with the most ingenious implementing strategies may end up without
any meaningful results. The Montreal Protocol, the most successful
MEA by any standard, had only modest targets to start with, but
like the story of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs - it went from a garage
of ideas to a barrage of success. Volumes have been written about
the key factors behind the achievements of the Montreal Protocol.
Beyond any doubt, these include technology transfer, the financial
mechanism, and policy enforcement and so on. However, the story
behind the Protocol's 'success story' will not be complete, unless
we add yet another critical factor of "giving a human face"
to the Protocol.
Over the last two decades I have been closely engaged in the exercise
of creating an enabling environment for capacity building-by giving
a human face to these efforts. The Montreal Protocol now claims
universal participation; each and every country is now Party to
the Protocol. Long before this achievement, the OzonAction Regional
Networks of National Ozone Units achieved universal participation
of the developing countries, i.e. each and every of the 147 developing
countries - even though some of them had not ratified the Montreal
Protocol - engaged in an hand-holding exercise at global level
and heralded the success of the Protocol.
The culture of "my brother" which is embedded in the
Arabic world, a concept of "global family" which is
at the core of Oriental philosophy and a notion of "equality"
rooted in the Occidental world were practiced by all over the
last two decades in implementing the Protocol.
The NOUs of the Republic of Korea and Democratic Republic of Korea;
India and Pakistan; Japan and China; Azerbaijan and Armenia- all
sat next to each other in our regional network meetings and got
involved with what I call "networking without borders".
Their geographical borders effectively dissolved when collectively
all countries resolved to achieve compliance. They held a shared
value of compliance to protect the ozone layer and reduce the
impact of climate change.
networking transformed the objectives of the Protocol into an
Einsteinian success. Many other Conventions claim much higher
IQs and the smartest mechanisms. However, the human face of the
Montreal Protocol - though many times invisible and often seeming
to be obsolete in an intricately modern and crisis-ridden globalised
world - has served as a lighthouse for this Protocol. This "story
behind the success stories" has been fundamental to what
has been achieved under the Montreal Protocol.
Disclaimer: The views expressed on
this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views,
strategies or opinions of my employer.
Rajendra Shende -blogger.