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Summary of the First Conference of the Parties for the Minamata Convention on Mercury

24th-29th September, Geneva, Switzerland.

The Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) closely followed the First Conference of the Parties for the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP1) in Geneva, Switzerland, 24th-29th of September 2017 and intervened as appropriate[1]. We were pleased to see the COP1 reached consensus on pending matters from prior meetings of the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) which resulted in establishing an effective Convention operational framework for achieving significant mercury reductions.

Our main priorities for COP1 included adoption of forms and guidance that was approved at INC 7, and addressing the issues of reporting, waste thresholds, interim storage guidelines, effectiveness evaluation, and matters for future action, which included the following decisions.

  • Article 3 guidance on identifying mercury stocks, and the forms/instructions for complying with mercury trade consent and related certification requirements;
  • The product and process exemption forms and associated register of exemptions under Article 6 of the Convention; a registrar will be kept by the Secretariat and these will also be available to the public
  • Article 8 (air emissions) guidance on BAT/ BEP, options for existing facility control requirements, preparing emissions inventories, and selection of “relevant sources” within the specified source categories; and
  • The Guidance for preparing the ASGM National Action Plan (NAP) under article 7.

COP1 also saw significant progress concerning various other ZMWG priorities, including :

Reporting:          Forms were adopted for use by Parties to report back on the measures undertaken to meet Convention obligations and on the effectiveness of those measures.  In particular, ZMWG most welcomed the decision for a shorter reporting cycle for supply and trade, reporting per year data on a biennial basis. For other obligations, Parties will report every four years. It was also agreed that each Party will submit its first biennial report by 31 December 2019 and its first full report by December 2021. Parties are also encouraged to submit an electronic form,  and the Secretariat is requested to make the Parties electronic reports available.

Furthermore, it was agreed that Parties would provide access to their data related to mercury emissions, under Article 8. Parties would also provide the rational on how they plan to ensure that facilities responsible for at least 75% of the emissions from a source category are subject to controls.

Waste Thresholds:          COP1 established an intercessional work group to further elaborate on waste thresholds, building on a document introduced by Japan. As recommended by NRDC/ZMWG, the terms of reference for the working group were focused more on determining which mercury wastes warrant thresholds rather than assuming thresholds are appropriate for all wastes. The expert group will identify the types of waste that fall within the categories specified in paragraph 2 of Article 11, provide related information; prioritising the types of waste identified that are most relevant for the establishment of waste thresholds, and identify possible approaches to establishing any needed thresholds for those prioritised waste for consideration at COP2. We were also pleased to see COP1 approving the participation of civil society within the working group, another ZMWG priority.

Interim Storage:                             COP1 requested the Secretariat to undertake further revision of the draft guidelines through input from relevant experts, including technical experts from the Basel Convention and present a revised draft for consideration at COP2. Provisional use of the current draft guidelines is encouraged.

Effectiveness Evaluation:             COP1 adopted a draft road map for establishing arrangements both for providing comparable monitoring data and elements of an effectiveness evaluation framework, as ZMWG had sought.  To that end an ad hoc group of experts was established including 25 experts nominated by the Parties – 5 per region, as well as 10 civil society experts, including NGOs, as observers.

Matters for Future Action (Article 3) - (Article 14):              Several matters were brought up for consideration. Under Article 3, trade in mercury compounds was one of several issued identified for future consideration by the COP. In regards to Article 14 – Capacity building, technical assistance and technology transfer, Parties and other stakeholder were invited to submit relevant information on capacity building, technical assistance and technology transfer for the Secretariat to compile and present at COP2.

Despite progress made, challenges remain, both related to the location and structure of the Minamata Convention Secretariat and the Memorandum of Understanding regarding the financial mechanism of the Convention with the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). The Secretariat will be temporarily located in Geneva, with further review of arrangements at COP2.

In summary, the final road map is now in place to ‘zero down’ global mercury pollution, but critical work remains.   ZMWG looks forward to a productive second meeting of the Conference of the Parties, which will be held in Geneva 19-23 November 2018.   

[1] All ZMWG interventions are available on our website http://www.zeromercury.org/index.php?option=com_content&;;view=article&id=309:unenvironment-minamata-mercury-cop1-24-29-september-2017-geneva-switzerland&catid=54:developments-main-category&Itemid=104

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.


  • 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


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. 

http://www.newstoday.com.bd/index.php?option=details&;news_id=52486&date=2012-02-05" href="http://www.newstoday.com.bd/index.php?option=details&news_id=52486&date=2012-02-05">http://www.newstoday.com.bd/index.php?option=details&;news_id=52486&date=2012-02-05 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 10:58