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Summary of the First Conference of the Parties for the Minamata Convention on Mercury

24th-29th September, Geneva, Switzerland.

The Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) closely followed the First Conference of the Parties for the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP1) in Geneva, Switzerland, 24th-29th of September 2017 and intervened as appropriate[1]. We were pleased to see the COP1 reached consensus on pending matters from prior meetings of the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) which resulted in establishing an effective Convention operational framework for achieving significant mercury reductions.

Our main priorities for COP1 included adoption of forms and guidance that was approved at INC 7, and addressing the issues of reporting, waste thresholds, interim storage guidelines, effectiveness evaluation, and matters for future action, which included the following decisions.

  • Article 3 guidance on identifying mercury stocks, and the forms/instructions for complying with mercury trade consent and related certification requirements;
  • The product and process exemption forms and associated register of exemptions under Article 6 of the Convention; a registrar will be kept by the Secretariat and these will also be available to the public
  • Article 8 (air emissions) guidance on BAT/ BEP, options for existing facility control requirements, preparing emissions inventories, and selection of “relevant sources” within the specified source categories; and
  • The Guidance for preparing the ASGM National Action Plan (NAP) under article 7.

COP1 also saw significant progress concerning various other ZMWG priorities, including :

Reporting:          Forms were adopted for use by Parties to report back on the measures undertaken to meet Convention obligations and on the effectiveness of those measures.  In particular, ZMWG most welcomed the decision for a shorter reporting cycle for supply and trade, reporting per year data on a biennial basis. For other obligations, Parties will report every four years. It was also agreed that each Party will submit its first biennial report by 31 December 2019 and its first full report by December 2021. Parties are also encouraged to submit an electronic form,  and the Secretariat is requested to make the Parties electronic reports available.

Furthermore, it was agreed that Parties would provide access to their data related to mercury emissions, under Article 8. Parties would also provide the rational on how they plan to ensure that facilities responsible for at least 75% of the emissions from a source category are subject to controls.

Waste Thresholds:          COP1 established an intercessional work group to further elaborate on waste thresholds, building on a document introduced by Japan. As recommended by NRDC/ZMWG, the terms of reference for the working group were focused more on determining which mercury wastes warrant thresholds rather than assuming thresholds are appropriate for all wastes. The expert group will identify the types of waste that fall within the categories specified in paragraph 2 of Article 11, provide related information; prioritising the types of waste identified that are most relevant for the establishment of waste thresholds, and identify possible approaches to establishing any needed thresholds for those prioritised waste for consideration at COP2. We were also pleased to see COP1 approving the participation of civil society within the working group, another ZMWG priority.

Interim Storage:                             COP1 requested the Secretariat to undertake further revision of the draft guidelines through input from relevant experts, including technical experts from the Basel Convention and present a revised draft for consideration at COP2. Provisional use of the current draft guidelines is encouraged.

Effectiveness Evaluation:             COP1 adopted a draft road map for establishing arrangements both for providing comparable monitoring data and elements of an effectiveness evaluation framework, as ZMWG had sought.  To that end an ad hoc group of experts was established including 25 experts nominated by the Parties – 5 per region, as well as 10 civil society experts, including NGOs, as observers.

Matters for Future Action (Article 3) - (Article 14):              Several matters were brought up for consideration. Under Article 3, trade in mercury compounds was one of several issued identified for future consideration by the COP. In regards to Article 14 – Capacity building, technical assistance and technology transfer, Parties and other stakeholder were invited to submit relevant information on capacity building, technical assistance and technology transfer for the Secretariat to compile and present at COP2.

Despite progress made, challenges remain, both related to the location and structure of the Minamata Convention Secretariat and the Memorandum of Understanding regarding the financial mechanism of the Convention with the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). The Secretariat will be temporarily located in Geneva, with further review of arrangements at COP2.

In summary, the final road map is now in place to ‘zero down’ global mercury pollution, but critical work remains.   ZMWG looks forward to a productive second meeting of the Conference of the Parties, which will be held in Geneva 19-23 November 2018.   



[1] All ZMWG interventions are available on our website http://www.zeromercury.org/index.php?option=com_content&;;view=article&id=309:unenvironment-minamata-mercury-cop1-24-29-september-2017-geneva-switzerland&catid=54:developments-main-category&Itemid=104

Home Press Releases Parar de usar e armazenar – a União Européia precisa gerenciar com segurança o excesso de merc...
Parar de usar e armazenar – a União Européia precisa gerenciar com segurança o excesso de mercúrio PDF Print
Tuesday, 12 June 2007 01:00
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(Santos, 12 de junho de 2007) – Junho é um mês importante para a campanha que visa proteger o mundo do flagelo do mercúrio altamente tóxico. Os ativistas anti-mercúrio de toda a Europa pressionaram os tomadores de decisão da União Européia para que assegurem que o excedente de mercúrio seja mantido em locais seguros e constantemente monitorados. Em 13 de junho os Representantes Permanentes dos Estados Membros da União Européia discutirão a proposta de um possível acordo no Conselho de Meio Ambiente em 28 de junho, e a Comissão Européia apresentará sua opinião sobre as alterações propostas pelo Comitê de Meio Ambiente do Parlamento Europeu, antes que o Parlamento vote essa matéria em 19 e 20 de junho.

“O Conselho dos Ministros de Meio Ambiente, a Comissão e o Parlamento precisam se unir ao Comitê de Meio Ambiente do Parlamento”, disse Elena Lymberidi da campanha Mercúrio Zero da EEB. “Todas as três instituições precisam concordar em exigir o armazenamento seguro e constantemente monitorado de estoques de mercúrio excedente, e isso precisa acontecer logo. Não se pode aceitar uma opção do tipo “enterre e esqueça”: a única opção segura no momento é ficar de olho nessa substância perniciosa, já que as técnicas de disposição segura não estão ainda disponíveis comercialmente.”

Os ativistas temem que, a menos que medidas necessárias sejam tomadas, os governos da União Européia individualmente tentem depositar o mercúrio líquido em locais inseguros, como minas antigas, onde existe um enorme risco de vazamentos ao longo do tempo contaminando a água e o ar. Já existe uma resolução européia sobre aterros desde 1999 que proíbe a disposição final de resíduos líq u idos.

Os ativistas também querem ver o banimento das exportações de compostos de mercúrio e de produtos que contêm mercúrio que já estão banidos na União Européia.

“Não é apenas uma questão de controlar o mercúrio puro”, disse Lisette van Vliet da rede Health Care Without Harm. ”Se o banimento das exportações não incluir os produtos já proibidos para venda na Europa que contêm mercúrio, ou compostos de mercúrio, perderemos uma parte significativa da contribuição da Europa contra a contaminação global do mercúrio.”. Os compostos representam uma alta proporção do uso mundial de mercúrio, e o mercúrio pode ser recuperado em grande quantidade nos compostos (calomelano, óxido mercúrico, cloreto mercúrico, e outros compostos organo­mercuriais).

As ONGs e os países do hemisfério sul estão bastante preocupados. “Historicamente, quando um produto perigoso é restringido, substituído ou banido na Europa, é geralmente exportado para países em desenvolvimento onde a conscientização do problema é relativamente baixa, e os regulamentos e/ou ações de cumprimento da lei são geralmente fracos ou inexistentes”, disse Zuleica Nycz, da ACPO – Associação de Combate aos Poluentes. “Além destes problemas o pesado lobby de empresários inescrupulosos, aliado ao alto nível de corrupção em países periféricos se constituem também em uma constante ameaça ao meio ambiente, à saúde e segurança pública”, declarou Jeffer Castelo Branco, também da ACPO..

Mais informações:-

ACPO – Associação de Combate aos Poluentes – This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it '; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text72304 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Nota aos editores:-

Letter to Commissioners: NGOs call for a wide reaching mercury export ban and safe storage of surplus mercury, [8 June 2007] http://www.zeromercury.org/EU_developments/070608NGOsletterto%20Commissioners.pdf

Letter to Environment Ministers: NGOs call for a wide reaching mercury export ban and safe storage of surplus mercury, [6 June 2007] http://www.zeromercury.org/EUdevelopments/070606NGOs'%20Letter%20to%20Env%20Mins%20Export%20Ban.pdf