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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.


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