**** LATEST NEWS! ****

 

Press Release

As new global mercury treaty enters into force, worldwide mercury production skyrockets, 
notes Global NGO Coalition on World Environmental Health Day

Geneva, 26 September 2017- As 156 countries convened for the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention, 
a new UN report shows mercury mining skyrocketing in the last 5 years. Moreover, much of that mercury is used in artisanal and 
small scale gold mining (ASGM), the largest source of global mercury pollution.

Currently, countries do not have reliable information about trade in neighboring countries and within their own region. 
This problem is compounded where borders between countries are “porous,” and a significant portion of trade is informal or illegal. 
For example, mercury may enter a region through legal trade to one country, but then be traded illegally across borders to neighboring countries. 

“Informal trade is difficult to track, and therefore does not appear in the official trade statistics,” said Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, 
Project Manager, Zero Mercury Campaign at the European Environmental Bureau. 
“With timely reporting, Parties can better understand mercury flows in order to better enforce trade restrictions in the Convention.”

“In recent years there have been a number of shocks to the global market, resulting in a doubling of the price of mercury in the last 12 months alone,” 
said Michael Bender, Co-coordinator of the Zero Mercury Working Group. “In addition, EU and US export bans now in place have resulted 
in a major shift in the main trading hub to Asia.”

“The emergence over the past five years of new small-scale producers of mercury in Mexico and Indonesia has made a difficult situation worse,” 
said Satish Sinha, Associate Director at Toxics Link in India. “Between these two countries alone, around 1000 tonnes are produced annually.”

“The main objective of the Minamata Convention is to protect human health and the environment by, in part, simultaneously 
reducing mercury supply and demand,” said  Rico Euripidou, Environmental Health Campaign Manager at groundWork 
in South Africa. Without adequate reporting on the global movement of mercury it will 
be difficult to monitor the overall effectiveness of the Convention, say NGOs.

“Annual reporting is consistent with the requirements of other environmental conventions such as Basel and the Montreal Protocol,” 
said Leslie Adogame, Executive Director at Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development in Nigeria.
“Legal trade flows must be understood before informal or illegal trade can be adequately addressed.”

An analysis of publicly available UN COMTRADE data over the period 2013-2016 (see below) reveals that the majority of global mercury flows 
from commodity trading centres (such as Hong Kong, Singapore and the UAE) to developing country regions (such as Africa and Latin America) 
where mercury use in ASGM is prolific in response to the largest global gold rush the world has ever seen. 

see table at the pdf

see also PR in FR 

Notes to the editor

http://www.mercuryconvention.org/

 https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/21725/global_mercury.pdf?sequence=1&;;isAllowed=y

http://www.ifeh.org/wehd/

www.zeromercury.org

For further information, please contact:                                         

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 " target="_blank"> 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 ">  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " target="_blank"> 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 " target="_blank"> 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 ">  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " target="_blank"> 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

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 " target="_blank"> 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 "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " target="_blank"> 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

*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 4, 27 June - 2 July 2012, Punta de l'Este, Uruguay PDF Print
Thursday, 24 May 2012 11:46

4th meeting of the Mercury Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee - INC4
27th June- 2nd July 2012, Punta de L'Este, Uruguay 

The fourth Mercury of Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee will be taking place on 27th June- 2nd July 2012,in Punta de L'Este, Uruguay

All relevant documents and details about the meeting can be found at the UNEP website:

http://www.unep.org/hazardoussubstances/Mercury/Negotiations/INC4/tabid/3470/Default.aspx

In preparation for the INC 4 on Mercury, the following ZMWG position papers have been developed (May 2012):

ZMWG Preliminary Views on the INC 4 Draft Treaty text - English version

ZMWG Preliminary Views on the INC 4 Draft Treaty text - French

ZMWG Preliminary Views on the INC 4 Draft Treaty text - Arabic

ZMWG Preliminary Views on the INC 4 Draft Treaty text - Portuguese

ZMWG Preliminary Views on the INC 4 Draft Treaty text - Russian

ZMWG Preliminary Views on the INC 4 Draft Treaty text - Spanish

 

PRELIMINARY ZMWG RESPONSE TO CoChairs Emissions Paper May 2012 - EN

PRELIMINARY ZMWG RESPONSE TO CoChairs Emissions Paper May 2012 - ES

 

Zero Mercury Working Group Initial Comments on Products/Processes Discussion Paper June 2012

 

ZMWG Views on Mercury Use in Dental Amalgam, June 2012

Also available in RU, ES

ZMWG INC 4 BRIEFING PAPER SERIES - Phasing out Mercury Use in Button Cell Batteries

ZMWG INC 4 BRIEFING PAPER SERIES Mercury in VCM and PVC Manufacturing

 

ZMWG activities while at INC 4

The ZMWG carried out an action for INC4 whose theme was: Zero Mercury Flow: End Toxic Trade Now! Polluter pays!  Ten NGO colleagues wore placards showing faces of persons harmed by the use of mercury-added skin lightening creams, to raise awareness – passing the message that this is the effect when mercury flows also in products. We carried out this action in front of the plenary room handing out bookmarks and lanyards and USBs that carried the key messages that we wanted to communicate to the delegates and that focused on supply, trade and the effects of mercury use in products. (see photo at: http://www.iisd.ca/mercury/inc4/, with other photos at our Photo library

 

ZMWG statements while at INC 4

27 June 2012
Opening statement

Statement on Storage, Waste and Contaminated sites

Statement on Section J (art. 18-19)

28 June 2012
Statement on Emissions and Releases

Statement on Finance and Technical Assistance

29 June 2012
Statement on Products and Processes in EN and FR 

30 June 2012
Statement on Supply and Trade

Statement on Article 20 bis (Health)

Statement on Article 21 (NIPs)

Other relevant documents

Discussion paper on products and processes for regional consultations in preparation for INC4 on mercury - Tokyo paper- 4 May 2012Tokyo paper- 4 May 2012

Draft EU CRP supply and trade

Draft EU CRP emissions

Draft EU CRP storage and waste


WHO Factsheets: Skin Lightening and Health Care