**** LATEST NEWS! ****

22 September 2017

View this email in your browser


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.


UNEP Treaty Ratification Workshops PDF Print
Friday, 27 March 2015 14:14

 A small scale funding agreement was signed by the European Environmental Bureau (on behalf of ZMWG) and UNEP Chemicals branch to assist with a series of treaty ratification workshops. Theses workshops were designed to assist countries in the process towards ratification and early implementation of their obligations under the Convention. UNEP assigned its financial support in order to guarantee the participation of at least one ZMWG representative to each of the scheduled workshops (2014 and 2015) and our treaty ratification guidebooks have been well received in the workshops since INC 6.

These workshops took place around the world in view of covering all regions:

    • Asia 1 – South East Asia- Kuala Lumpur, 19-21 March 2014

    • Africa EN 1 and Africa EN 2 , 23-25 April, 28-30 April, 2014 Nairobi;

    • Asia 2- Arab group – 5-7 August, 2014 – Jordan;

    • GRULAC, ES – 2-4 September, 2014, Brasilia, Brazil;

    • Asia 3, Other ,New Delhi - 18-20 September, 2014, India;

    • GRULAC, Central America, Mexico City, 26-28 November, 2014;

    • GRULAC, Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago; January, 2015;

    • Asia 4 - Pacific Islands – 19-21 January,2015;

    • Asia 5 and CEE (Russian speaking) Central Asia Countries, 18-20 February, 2015.

During these workshops several technical issues related both to the meaning and to the implementation process of the Convention were discussed. The ZMWG representative  actively contributed with at least two presentations in each meeting - one on the communication tools used to address the general public and particular audiences, and other  on the available support at the sub-regional level. In most cases ZMWG was also asked to give more specialized presentations on national action plan development to reduce mercury in ASGM, alternatives to mercury-containing products and processes as well to address issues related to mercury supply and trade.

The ZMWG further contributed its expertise in the discussions which took place during the workshops. A part of the workshops was dedicated to breakout groups’ discussion: during these sections, ZMWG representative also had the opportunity to deeply engage on some sensitive issues with Governments representatives and assist them in their development of their national roadmap towards the country’s ratification.

Prior to the start and after each workshop, internal ZMWG preparatory calls were arranged with the ZMWG representatives to help them prepare for the meetings, debrief  and acquaint them with the presentations, which were developed and adapted to each region depending on the workshops we were covering.


Upcoming Events

There are no events at this time