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22 September 2017

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PRESS RELEASE: 

New treaty effectiveness will depend on adequacy of data to be collected, say NGOs  

Geneva, Switzerland


Prior to the start of the first Conference of Parties (COP1), the Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) welcomed the entry into force of the Minamata Convention. 

“While there are alternatives to mercury, there are no alternatives to global cooperation,” said Michael Bender, international ZMWG coordinator. “We applaud the world’s governments for committing to curtail this dangerous neurotoxin.”

The First Conference of the Parties will take place from 24 to 29 September 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.  Over 1,000 delegates and around 50 ministers are expected to assemble in Geneva to celebrate and lay the groundwork for the treaty’s overall effectiveness.
 
During the prior negotiations, the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) approved many of the forms and guidance that the Convention specifies must be adopted at COP 1, which are needed for the swift and smooth launch and running of the Convention.  These include guidance documents on identifying stocks, determining best available technologies and reducing mercury use in small scale gold mining; as well as forms for trade procedures and for exemptions from certain deadlines.

“These INC approvals were achieved by consensus after considerable deliberations, and are ready for approval without further debate,” said Satish Sinha, Toxics Link India.

Among the most critical open issues to be discussed at COP1 are the reporting requirements, which will provide critical information on both the global mercury situation and the effectiveness of the Convention in achieving mercury reductions.   Particularly critical to collect will be data on mercury production and trade, which can change significantly in a short period of time.

 “Countries will not have readily available information about production and trade in bordering countries or within their region, unless there is frequent reporting under the Convention,” said David Lennett, Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council “Many borders between countries are “porous,” and where a significant portion of mercury trade is informal/illegal.   Good data on legal trade flows will enable actions to address illegal trade, all of which has a huge impact on artisanal and small scale gold mining, the largest source of mercury pollution globally.

Mercury is a global pollutant that travels long distances. Its most toxic form – methylmercury - accumulates in large predatory fish and is taken up in our bodies through eating fish, with the worst impacts on babies in utero

For more information, see:

http://www.mercuryconvention.org

www.zeromercury.org

Contacts:


Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, Project Coordinator ‘Zero Mercury Campaign’, European Environmental Bureau, ZMWG International Coordinator
T: +32 2 2891301,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Michael Bender, ZMWG International Coordinator, T: +1 802 917 8222,   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For information on reporting, please contact David Lennett, Natural Resources Defense Council, T:  +1 202 460 8517   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For further information, please contact:

*The Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) is an international coalition of over 95 public interest environmental and health non-governmental organizations from more than 50 countries from around the world formed in 2005 by the European Environmental Bureau and the Mercury Policy Project.  ZMWG strives for zero supply, demand, and emissions of mercury from all anthropogenic sources, with the goal of reducing mercury in the global environment to a minimum.  Our mission is to advocate and support the adoption and implementation of a legally binding instrument which contains mandatory obligations to eliminate where feasible, and otherwise minimize, the global supply and trade of mercury, the global demand for mercury, anthropogenic releases of mercury to the environment, and human and wildlife exposure to mercury.



 

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Armenia PDF Print
Friday, 03 September 2010 14:27

Armenia

Coordinating NGO for EEB/ZMWG funded projects: Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE)

Contact details:         Elena Manvelyan- This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

2014 - Project title: Towards phasing out mercury in products in Armenia

  • Project goal: to promote quick ratification and assist treaty implementation.
  • Project duration: 9 months (January-July 2014)

Armenia signed the Minamata Convention on mercury in October 2013 and has already launched enabling activities towards its ratification.

Mercury is used in a wide variety of household devices and products. These items release mercury into the environment when broken or improperly disposed. If spilled, mercury absorbs into many materials while slowly evaporating into the air over time, allowing for exposure. Knowing what products and items contain mercury and handling them properly, will limit the risk of mercury exposure. Common products often have a simple and environmentally friendly alternative.

The project focused on the following most common mercury containing products available to the public in Armenia

  • Mercury containing medical devices
  • Mercury containing vaccine
  • Dental amalgam used in previous years
  • Mercury containing batteries
  • Mercury containing lamps
  • LED screens of mobile phones and computer/laptop screens
  • Mercury containing skin-lightening creams and children’s cosmetics
  • A matter of special concern is presence of mercury containing pesticides in storages of banned and obsolete pesticides.

AWHHE acknowledges financial support by Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) and the European Commission (EC) via the European Environmental Bureau/Zero Mercury Working Group in this project

Avoid Using Mercury Containing Devices (eng / arm)


Armenia,(in cooperation with  Belarus[1], Georgia[2])


2010 - 2011 Project title:               Mercury in skin lightening creams in EECCA

Project objectives:     Analyze mercury content in skin lightening creams in the three participating countries

Activities:

ð     Determine how much mercury is used in different skin care and cosmetic products through laboratory analysis of chosen samples in the three countries

ð     analysis of relevant EECCA and EU legislation on mercury use in such products

ð     analysis of the trade issues - where the products come from and quantities etc

Recommendation:    Include skin care and cosmetic products as mercury-containing products to be banned in the upcoming global treaty on mercury

Status:                         completed

Outcome:

out of the 100 tested samples, 82 of them contained mercury. The highest level  of mercury concentration among these (1,7 ppm) was found in the product ‘C.L. Set for fading the freckles’, which is imported from China and bought in Georgia. Only 18 of the total 100 tested samples did not contain mercury. Although these products did not have any mercury content, it is unknown whether they contain other harmful substances, e.g. whitening agents such as hydroquinone.

Final report



[1] Center of Environmental Solutions (CES) is a non-for-profit, non-governmental foundation (establisment) legally established in Belarus in the beginning of 2009. As an envrionmental group FRI, our team has been working since 2001.

CES mission is promoting of an environmentally friendly life-style, principles of sustainable development for preserving living conditions for future generations, and assisting in development of inter-cultural dialogue and partnership for environmental protection.

CES has experience of participating in national and international processes in the area of chemicals safety, SAICM implementation, and waste management.

[2] Georgian Environmental and Biological Monitoring Association (GEBMA) is   a   non-governmental, scientific, non-profit organization. The group of scientists-toxicologists working in environmental and health issues has established it in 1995 on the base of the Georgian Institute of Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Diseases.  In July 11-th, 2006, the Association re-registered in the Ministry of Justice of Georgia, Tbilisi. Registration #: 833.

GEBMA unites 9 founders-members. Depending on circumstances, volunteers are also attracted in organization.

Main purpose of the Association is to protect human health and environment against harmful environmental and occupational factors, especially, against chemicals, including pesticides, fertilizers, POPs, industrial chemicals, consumer chemicals, cosmetics and others.

                                Since 1997 GEBMA has been involved in the Pan-European processes on “Environment for Europe” and “Environment and Health”.

Internal organizations GEBMA is in a close contact are European Eco-Forum, Eco-Accord, IPEN and WECF.

GEBMA has been involving in preparation of the National Documents such as:

·          “ National Profile to Assess the National Infrastructure for Management of Chemicals in Georgia”; Supported by the Directorate General XI of the   European   Commission through UNITAR/IOMC, 1998;

·          Georgia NEHAP; Supported by WHO, 2000-2003;

UNEP/WHO milk survey (Georgia’s National Protocol for the monitoring of POPs in human milk), 2008.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 15:49