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22 September 2017

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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 2, 24-28 January 2011, Chiba, Japan PDF Print
Thursday, 15 September 2011 14:01

The second Mercury Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee is currently taking place in Chiba, Japan, 24-28 January 2011.  All relevant documents and details about the meeting can be found at http://www.unep.org/hazardoussubstances/Mercury/Negotiations/INC2/tabid/3468/language/en-US/Default.aspx

Best way to honor Minimata is to adopt a strong mercury treaty, say NGOs 
24 January 2011

ZMWG side event/documents on Mercury INC 2!

23 January 2011, Chiba Japan,
CACP/ZMWG NGO lunch event - Honoring Minamata. Poster-invitation also in Japanese

ZMWG comments on the Elements paper

ZMWG summary of changes to the elements paper
January 2011

ZMWG comments on the UNEP INC 2 Draft elements paper, FR, ES(only cover and track changes)
January 2011

ZMWG INC 2 Briefing Paper Series
Mercury content in lamps
Vinyl Chloro Monomer (VCM)
Waste and Basel
Mercury Air Emissions
Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS)
Artisanal Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM)
January 2011

ZMWG Statements at the INC 2 - Chiba

ZMWG Intervention on Art.3
ZMWG Intervention on Art. 4
ZMWG Intervention on Art.5
ZMWG Intervention on Art. 6
ZMWG Intervention on Art. 7
ZMWG Intervention on Art. 8
ZMWG Intervention on Art. 9
ZMWG Intervention on Art.10
ZMWG Intervention on Art. 11
ZMWG Intervention on Art. 12
Joint ZMWG/IPEN Intervention on Art. 13
ZMWG ntervention on Art. 14
ZMWG Intervention on Art. 15
ZMWG Intervention on Art. 18&19
ZMWG Intervention on Art. 22

ZMWG Press release 28 January 2011

See also DRAFT UNEP report from the meeting (as of 28 January 2011)
INC 2 L1, INC2 L1 Add1, INC2 L1 Add2

Developments in 2010

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