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As new global mercury treaty enters into force, worldwide mercury production skyrockets, 
notes Global NGO Coalition on World Environmental Health Day

Geneva, 26 September 2017- As 156 countries convened for the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention, 
a new UN report shows mercury mining skyrocketing in the last 5 years. Moreover, much of that mercury is used in artisanal and 
small scale gold mining (ASGM), the largest source of global mercury pollution.

Currently, countries do not have reliable information about trade in neighboring countries and within their own region. 
This problem is compounded where borders between countries are “porous,” and a significant portion of trade is informal or illegal. 
For example, mercury may enter a region through legal trade to one country, but then be traded illegally across borders to neighboring countries. 

“Informal trade is difficult to track, and therefore does not appear in the official trade statistics,” said Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, 
Project Manager, Zero Mercury Campaign at the European Environmental Bureau. 
“With timely reporting, Parties can better understand mercury flows in order to better enforce trade restrictions in the Convention.”

“In recent years there have been a number of shocks to the global market, resulting in a doubling of the price of mercury in the last 12 months alone,” 
said Michael Bender, Co-coordinator of the Zero Mercury Working Group. “In addition, EU and US export bans now in place have resulted 
in a major shift in the main trading hub to Asia.”

“The emergence over the past five years of new small-scale producers of mercury in Mexico and Indonesia has made a difficult situation worse,” 
said Satish Sinha, Associate Director at Toxics Link in India. “Between these two countries alone, around 1000 tonnes are produced annually.”

“The main objective of the Minamata Convention is to protect human health and the environment by, in part, simultaneously 
reducing mercury supply and demand,” said  Rico Euripidou, Environmental Health Campaign Manager at groundWork 
in South Africa. Without adequate reporting on the global movement of mercury it will 
be difficult to monitor the overall effectiveness of the Convention, say NGOs.

“Annual reporting is consistent with the requirements of other environmental conventions such as Basel and the Montreal Protocol,” 
said Leslie Adogame, Executive Director at Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development in Nigeria.
“Legal trade flows must be understood before informal or illegal trade can be adequately addressed.”

An analysis of publicly available UN COMTRADE data over the period 2013-2016 (see below) reveals that the majority of global mercury flows 
from commodity trading centres (such as Hong Kong, Singapore and the UAE) to developing country regions (such as Africa and Latin America) 
where mercury use in ASGM is prolific in response to the largest global gold rush the world has ever seen. 

see table at the pdf

see also PR in FR 

Notes to the editor

http://www.mercuryconvention.org/

 https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/21725/global_mercury.pdf?sequence=1&;;isAllowed=y

http://www.ifeh.org/wehd/

www.zeromercury.org

For further information, please contact:                                         

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 " target="_blank"> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " data-mce-href="mailto: 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 ">  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " target="_blank"> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " data-mce-href="mailto: 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 " target="_blank"> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " data-mce-href="mailto: 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 ">  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " target="_blank"> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " data-mce-href="mailto: 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

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 " target="_blank"> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " data-mce-href="mailto: 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 "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " target="_blank"> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " data-mce-href="mailto: 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

*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.

Home MERCURY AND ITS USES/EMISSIONS Mercury Trade, Supply and Storage
Japan PDF Print
Friday, 03 September 2010 15:16

Coordinating NGO for EEB/ZMWG funded projects:   Citizens Against Chemicals Pollution (CACP)

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

2010 Project title:                       INC2 NGO Preparatory activities in Japan 

Project objectives:       

ð     strengthen NGO input in preparation for INC 2 and make the UNEP treaty negotiations known to the Japanese public

ð     Engage the Minimata victims and their supporters in the INC process to underline the lessons to be learnt from Minamata and appeal to the Japanese government for the adoption of a global treaty on mercury

ð     Exert pressure towards a Japanese mercury export ban and safe storage of surplus mercury);

ð     Sensitize the government to the importance of a robust and comprehensive treaty that will control mercury’s full life-cycle by highlighting the Minamata events

Project activities:

    1. Write a report on ‘Mercury issues in Japan’ on the basis of an updated presentation developed already by CACP, to be available for INC 2.
    2. Organizing an NGO symposium in Japan (in December 2010) in view of: engaging the Minamata victims’ groups at the INC process to appeal to governments for a robust treaty; make the UNEP mercury process known to Japanese public: and exert  pressure towards a Japanese mercury export ban (and safe storage of surplus mercury).
    3. Organizing the “Honoring Minamata” side event a day before INC 2 negotiations highlighting the tragedy of Minamata, the need for a strong mercury treaty, and the need for a Japan export ban, along with storage of surplus mercury.

Recommendation: Need for the Japanese government to put in place a mercury export ban and address safe storage of surplus mercury

Status: Completed

Outcome

All the project activities were successfully carried out during INC 2 in Chiba, Japan

 Deliverables

(1) Program for NGO International Mercury Symposium on December 4, 2010 Minamata and Global Mercury Issues

Statement by Minamata Disease Victims and Supporters "Toward the Global Treaty on Mercury".

Photos from the Symposium

(2)Report: Minamata and The Global Treaty on Mercury

(3)Report from Kumamoto and Minamata Visit from September 12 to 14

(4) October 15, 2009 Civil Society Organizations Joint Statement Japanese Government Needs to Enact Mercury Export Ban Act

(5) ZMWG/CACP NGO side event - Honoring Minamata - 23 January 2011 - Chiba, Japan and in Japanese

(6) Report of the Mercury Symposium by CACP - 04 December 2011Report of the Mercury Symposium by CACP - 04 December 2011 - in Japan