**** LATEST NEWS! ****

22 September 2017

View this email in your browser


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:




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.


Home Our work at UNEP Level Towards a Mercury Treaty
UNEP Hg INC 1, 7-11 June 2010, Stockholm, Sweden PDF Print
Friday, 10 September 2010 14:47

ZMWG preparatory work for the First session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, Stockholm, Sweden (INC1)

ZMWG Framework for a mercury treaty
June 2010

ZMWG observations on UNEP documents produced for INC 1
2 June 2010

ZMWG Though-started on Artisanal and Small scale gold mining (ASGM)
2 June 2010
and in ES

ZMWG fact sheet on mercury

ZMWG fact sheet on skin creams

March 2010 Working Draft

FR, ES, CHI, RU, Arab and PT,JP
18 March 2010


7-11 June 2010, INC1, Stockholm, Sweden

Fifty five representatives of NGOs, from 29 countries, participated at the Mercury INC 1, Stockholm, Sweden. An NGO preparatory meeting took place on the 5 June 2010. On the 6 June 2010 Technical Briefings were organised by UNEP, all presentations can be found here. In the afternoon, the ZMWG organised a demonstration and training of the NGOs on how to use a LUMEX monitoring instrument, to monitor mercury emissions in the air, with the help of an engineer from LUMEX.

A ZMWG exhibition booth was set up providing information on mercury in different products and processes (lamps, measuring devices, chlor-alkali, artisanal small scale gold mining etc) as well as our position papers. Pollution Probe's (Canada) booth exhibited the theme on mercury in products. IPEN had a booth on their Mercury Free Campaign.

Two films on how mercury is freely traded in the New Delhi market , as well as one on Mercury use in hospitals in India, was produced by Toxics Link under the Zero Mercury Campaign and projected at the ZMWG exhibition booth during the week. A powerpoint presentation made by CACP (Japan) on the Minamata disease and mercury in Japan was also projected during the week.

During the week the ZMWG Say.... aaaHg!!! action took place - governmnent delegates had the possibility to measure mercury in their breath mainly coming from dental amalgams containing mercury, by using the LUMEX - portable mercury monitoring instrument.

During the meeting the NGOs presence was very evident. Statements were given in a coordinated, complementary manner by the NGOs' network representatives and received very positive feedback. Below you can see statements made by the Zero Mercury Working Group as well as Joint statements.

ZMWG statements/Press releases

7 June
Joint Press release - ZMWG, IPEN , SSNC
Opening Statement
Indigenous NGOs opening statement
Joint (ZMWG+IPEN) statement on Objectives
8 June
Joint (ZMWG+IPEN) statement on Treaty Structure
Statement on Finances and Compliance

Statement on Compliance and Reporting

9 June
Statement on Supply

Statement on Demand
Joint (ZMWG+IPEN) statement on Waste and contaminated sites
10 June
Statement on Storage
Statement on mercury in Atmospheric Emissions
ICC statement on emissions
Statement on Awareness raising and information
CEPHED statement
11 June
CACP statement on Minamata
Joint (ZMWG+IPEN) final statement
ZMWG final Press release

Photo Gallery
Lumex NGOs training 1 , 2
The ZMWG exhibition booth
Say....aaaHg! ZMWG action 1 , 2 , 3

The participation of 132 countries’ reaffirmed the importance and international commitment to address the global mercury problem. We hope that this first round of discussions covering all issues will open the way to more substantive discussions on legally binding control measures in order to minimise and, where feasible, eliminate mercury from use, supply and emissions globally.

During the meeting countries expressed their views on potential targeted control provisions on mercury issues such as supply; storage of excess mercury; use of mercury in products and processes; artisanal small scale gold mining; trade; atmospheric emissions of mercury; waste and contaminated sites; as well as on compliance, finances, capacity building and technical assistance and awareness raising. Countries and regions also expressed their opinions on how discussions should unfold during the coming INCs.

We now look forward to engaging in focused discussions in areas such as supply, trade and storage of surplus mercury where substantial progress can be made. UNEP has now been tasked to draft options on measures to reduce supply, demand and emissions, to be discussed at INC 2, Tokyo, Japan, January 2011.