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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 Press Releases Quecksilber: EU muss komplettes Exportverbot beschließen
Quecksilber: EU muss komplettes Exportverbot beschließen PDF Print
Tuesday, 12 June 2007 01:00
DNR_logo

Berlin, 12. Juni 2007 – Der Deutsche Naturschutzring (DNR) und das Europäische Umweltbüro (EEB) fordern die EU-Umweltminister auf, den Export von Quecksilber zu verbieten. Das Verbot muss auch für Produkte gelten, die Quecksilber enthalten und innerhalb der EU nicht ver­kauft werden dürfen. Es soll schnellstmöglich in Kraft treten, spätestens jedoch 2010. Am 13. Juni beginnen in Brüssel die Verhandlungen zu diesem Thema.

,,Es ist absurd, gefährliche Produkte bei uns aus dem Ver­kehr zu nehmen, aber den Export in andere Länder weiter­hin zu erlauben“, sagt Hubert Weinzierl, Präsident des DNR. ,,Quecksilber breitet sich über Wasser und Luft weltweit aus und landet am Ende auch wieder bei uns, ganz egal, wo es freigesetzt wird. In der Nahrungskette reichert es sich an und schädigt am Ende uns Menschen!“ Die EU-Kommission warnt daher Kinder und schwangere Frauen, mehr als 100 Gramm Tunfisch oder Hecht pro Woche zu verzehren, da diese besonders stark mit gefähr­lichem Methyl-Quecksilber belastet sind. Das Schwerme­tall ist nervenschädigend und kann vor allem bei Kindern bleibende Schäden im Gehirn verursachen.

Daher muss der Export von Quecksilber nach Überzeu­gung des DNR schnell und umfas send verboten werden. Anfallendes flüssiges Quecksilber solle stattdessen kon­trolliert gelagert werden (Zwischenlagerung). Auf keinen Fall dürften die 12.000 Tonnen Restbestände aus Chlor­Anlagen in einem zentralen Salzstock – etwa in Nord­deutschland – endgelagert werden, so wie es einige Vor­schläge vorsehen. Auch über dieses Thema werden die EU-Umweltminister beraten. ,,In Zukunft müssen Techni­ken entwickelt werden, flüssiges Quecksilber wieder in Gestein zu binden, so dass es weniger flüchtig und gefähr­lich für die Umwelt ist“ fordert DNR-Präsident Weinzierl. ,,So lange darf es keine abschließende Lagerung geben. Das Quecksilber muss auf j eden Fall zurückgeholt werden können, anstatt es zu vergraben und zu vergessen.“

Weitere Informationen

Florian Noto, DNR, Proj ekt-Koordinator ,,Null Quecksilber“, Berlin

Tel: 030 / 443391-38, -86

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Elena Lymberidi, EEB, Project Coordinator “Zero Mercury Global Campaign”, Brüssel Tel: +32 2 / 289-1301 (engl.)

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www.zeromercury.org