**** LATEST NEWS! ****

22 September 2017

View this email in your browser

PRESS RELEASE: 

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:

http://www.mercuryconvention.org

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

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 Press Releases ZMWG Blog - Summary of Mercury Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) 6
ZMWG Blog - Summary of Mercury Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) 6 PDF Print
Friday, 07 November 2014 09:19
zeromercury WG_logo

Summary of Mercury Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) 6

[7November 2014, Bangkok]

The Zero Mercury Working Group (Zero Mercury) closely followed the Mercury INC 6 negotiations in Bangkok, 3-7 November 2014.  These negotiations were held in preparation for the first meeting of the Conference of Parties once the Minamata Convention enters into force. 

Our main priorities for INC 6 were related to how to best translate the Convention’s requirements into measureable and substantial reductions in global mercury use, trade and emissions.   We also noted that monitoring and reporting data are vital to determining compliance, ensuring accountability and enhancing interest by donors in supporting the Convention — both now and into the future.

INC 6 saw progress on several important fronts. First, regarding financial matters, there was movement in development of a Memorandum of Understanding for working with the Global Environment Facility, which will be the main financial instrument for the Convention.  Second, an expert group was established to work on the Special International Programme (SIP), which is an additional Convention financial assistance mechanism.  The expert group is charged with providing input to INC 7 and/or COP1 regarding the appropriate direction for the SIP to take.

One of our top priorities for INC 6 was to ensure that countries collect and exchange critical mercury trade information in a timely manner. We are pleased to note that the import consent form now includes  space for denial of consent  as well as information that the importing country needs from the exporter regarding the sources, amounts and proposed uses for the mercury.

Regarding the reporting form that countries must submit to describe progress in implementing the Convention, many important issues were raised, several of which were pointed out in our intervention on 5 November[1]. However, due to time constraints these issues were left for resolution at INC 7. 

Finally, on another important issue, several countries supported using the draft guidance on National Action Plans (NAP) produced by the Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining Partnership as the basis to create NAP guidance for the Convention. This development is important because countries are already working on National Action Plans so the sooner the guidance can be completed the better.

All told, INC 6 has laid the groundwork for the final INC 7.  The final road map is almost in place to ‘zero down’ global mercury use.   Zero Mercury urges all countries to now follow through on their commitments and we stand ready to assist as appropriate.

[1] http://www.zeromercury.org/phocadownload/Developments_at_UNEP_level/INC6/ZMWG_INC6_Article_21_Intervention.pdf