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Environment Programme (UNEP) specialists have gathered in Alexandra this week to discuss ozone depletion and its effect on climate change.

The meeting is being hosted by Lauder-based Niwa researchers Dr Richard McKenzie and Ben Liley.

Talks began on Monday as the panel of scientists were welcomed by the Dunstan High School kapa haka group.

It is the fourth time the conference has been held in New Zealand and the second time in Alexandra.

Dr McKenzie said the conference was great for the Central Otago town, which was considered the “mecca” of atmospheric research in New Zealand.

“There are probably more atmospheric researchers per head of population in this town than there are in any other town in New Zealand.”

The panel will prepare a UNEP report on the current assessment of the world’s understanding of climate change, ozone depletion and its effects on the environment.

Dr McKenzie said he hoped the panel of international scientists would find time to partake in Blossom Festival celebrations this weekend.

The conference concludes on September 30.

ADAM.BURNS

@alliedpress.co.nz