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New treaty’s entry into force set to curtail global mercury crisis, say NGOs

BRUSSELS - 16 AUGUST 2017
TODAY’S ENTRY INTO FORCE OF THE MINAMATA CONVENTION ESTABLISHES THE FIRST NEW MULTILATERAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENT IN OVER A DECADE.  THE ZERO MERCURY WORKING GROUP* HAS BEEN CALLING FOR A LEGALLY BINDING TREATY FOR OVER A DECADE AND WELCOMES THE NEW PROTOCOL.

“While there are alternatives to mercury, there are no alternatives to global cooperation,” said Michael Bender, coordinator of the Zero Mercury Working Group. “Mercury respects no boundaries and exposes people everywhere”
“Only a global pact can curtail this dangerous neurotoxin.”

In October 2013 the convention text was adopted and signed by 128 countries, but would not take legal effect until at least 50 countries had ratified it formally.  This milestone was reached in May of this year, and the convention enters into force today 16 August. 

“We are now on the right track,” said Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, Project Manager, European Environmental Bureau and ZMWG co- coordinator. 

“Over time, the Convention is expected to provide the necessary technical and financial resources to reduce the risk of exposure to mercury worldwide. Governments must therefore move swiftly towards efficient implementation of the Treaty’s provisions”.

The aim of the Convention is "to protect the human health and the environment” from mercury releases.

The treaty holds critical obligations for Parties to ban new primary mercury mines while phasing out existing ones and also includes a ban on many common products and processes using mercury, measures to control releases, and a requirement for national plans to reduce mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining.  In addition, it seeks to reduce trade, promote sound storage of mercury and its disposal, address contaminated sites and reduce exposure from 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.

The Minamata Convention joins 3 other UN conventions seeking to reduce impacts from chemicals and waste – the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

ENDS 

For more information, see:

http://www.mercuryconvention.org/Negotiations/COP1/tabid/5544/language/en-US/Default.aspx

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 " 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 "> 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

Notes to the editors:

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 and small children. 

*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.

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) is Europe's largest network of environmental citizens’ organisations, standing for environmental justice, sustainable development and participatory democracy. Our experts work on climate change, biodiversity, circular economy, air, water, soil, chemical pollution, as well as policies on industry, energy, agriculture, product design and waste prevention. We are also active on overarching issues as sustainable development, good governance, participatory democracy and the rule of law in Europe and beyond.

We have over 140 members in over 30 countries.

EC register for interest representatives: Identification number 06798511314-27
International non-profit association - Association internationale sans but lucratif (AISBL)

 
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Bangladesh PDF Print
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 15:14

 

Coordinating NGO for ZMWG funded projects:    Environment and Social Development Organization -ESDO

Contact details: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Ph.D.,Ecologist, Journalist & Social Justice Advocate


 2012  Project title: “Assessing Country Situation of the Mercury Sources and Hotspot in Bangladesh” - Project funded by NRDC/ZMWG

 Summary of the proposed project:  This project is focused on the comprehensive assessment, inventory and situational analysis of mercury uses in Bangladesh and to initiate policy advocacy for national legislation and enforcement of rules, regulations and policy. This project will be implemented in line with the Strategic Approach to global mercury campaign and in order to assess the critical issues associated with the rapid expansion of mercury containing products and process throughout the world. The project will thus seek to prepare, draft and update a national inventory and to establish technical directives to deal with mercury in order to achieve the international standards. We seek to raise awareness of the associated risks of contamination of air, water and soil caused by mercury emission and waste. The general objective of this project is to assist countries to prepare, draft and update a national inventory and technical directives to deal with mercury in order to achieve the international standards of environmentally sound management.

Project aim: The project aims to pursue the environmentally sound management, ban of mercury uses in Bangladesh, according to the International Mercury Negations Strategic Approach and other international obligations. We will be particularly focusing on the assessment and uses of mercury in the industrial and health care and mercury waste disposal in Bangladesh.

Activities:

  • The major eight activities are proposed in order to properly address the objectives of the project on assessment and inventory of mercury uses in Bangladesh:

    1. To develop a project management and implementation guideline and conduct project team orientation.

    2. To establish contact with the target/ stakeholders (Government and private agencies, research institutions, NGOs, media and individuals) in order to identify the structure of each national market for mercury containing products.

    3. To collect information regarding the situation of mercury uses in the country and make an inventory.

    4. To conduct research for current situation analysis and to review and compare the existing practices for dealing with mercury at the national and regional level.

    5. To conduct knowledge exchange workshops for Civil Societies Organizations, private agencies, research institutions, NGOs, media and individuals and create national and regional advocacy network.

    6. To prepare and publish of information educational and communication-IEC materials.

  • 7. Assessment of the project impact and launching: upon effective completion of the research/ study report, tool-kit/booklet, website, these will be formally launched by a press briefing in order to project outputs.

  • 8. Project follow-up: facilities the IEC campaign and policy advocacy work through

    network.

Status: completed- Study Report: Country situation of mercury sources and hotspots in Bangladesh, Workshop report:Country situation of mercury containing products and sources in Bangladesh, PosterBooklet: Mercury sources: Products and Hotspots in Bangladesh

Formulation of national policy on dental amalgam demanded

News Report

Speakers at a programme in the city on Saturday underscored the need for the creation of mass awareness and formulation of a national policy on dental amalgam. They were speaking at the launching ceremony of awareness and educational campaign for mercury free dentistry for the first time in Bangladesh at the Dhaka University. 

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