The United Nations' (UN) International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is celebrated on September 16 every year. This event commemorates the date of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987.
The Earth's ozone layer plays an important role in protecting human health and the environment.
On this day primary and secondary school educators throughout the world organize classroom activities that focus on topics related to the ozone layer, climate change and ozone depletion. Some teachers use educational packages from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) that have been specifically tailored to address topics about the Earth's ozone layer.
Other activities that are organized by different community groups, individuals, schools and local organizations across the world include: the promotion of ozone-friendly products; special programs and events on saving the ozone layer; the distribution of the UNEP's public awareness posters to be used for events centered on the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer; and the distribution of awards to those who worked hard to protect the Earth's ozone layer.
The UN's International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is a global observance and not a public holiday.
In 1987 representatives from 24 countries met in Montreal and announced to the world that it was time to stop destroying the ozone layer. In so doing, these countries committed themselves, via the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, to rid the world of substances that threaten the ozone layer.
On December 19, 1994, the UN General Assembly proclaimed September 16 to be the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date when the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed in 1987. The day was first celebrated on September 16, 1995.
Many promotional items used for the day feature images of the Sun, sky, or earth's natural environment to represent the ozone's importance in protecting the environment. Selected winning paintings from the 1998 Children’s Painting Competition, which was part of UNEP’s public awareness campaign at the time, have since been reproduced on posters, calendars, publications, and other material.