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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 Mercure : ça chauffe, mais pas encore assez !
Mercure : ça chauffe, mais pas encore assez ! PDF Print
Friday, 20 April 2007 01:00
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Paris, le 20 avril 2007 – Hier, les ministres siégeant au sein du << Conseil Justice et Affaires Intérieures È ont adopté une position commune relative à la limitation de la mise sur le marché de dispositifs de mesure à mercure. Les ONG de défense de l'environnement et de la santé déplorent que le texte en question n'interdise pas immédiatement le mercure, polluant planétaire aux effets sanitaires préoccupants, dans les tensiomètres et les baromètres.

<< Le Conseil des ministres a manqué l'occasion de faire un pas décisif vers des dispositifs de mesure plus slirs È, regrette Wiebke Winkler de la campagne << Santé et Environnement È du Centre national d'information indépendante sur les déchets (CNIID), membre français de Health Care Without Harm et de Zero Mercury Working Group. << Nous aurions voulu voir les gouvernements européens rendre obligatoire l'emploi de substituts plus slirs, qui existent déjà pour certains dispositifs importants présentant un risque potentiel de pollution par le mercure lorsqu 'ils cassent ou entrent dans le flux des déchets È.

Les ONG de défense de l'environnement et de la santé estiment que le Conseil des ministres a esquivé sa responsabilité en évitant toute restriction immédiate relative à l'équipement professionnel spécifique du secteur médical comme les dispositifs liés à la tension artérielle. Au lieu de cela, le Conseil a demandé à la Commission européenne de rédiger un rapport - à présenter deux ans après l'entrée en vigueur de la restriction relative aux thermomètres médicaux – sur la disponibilité de substituts plus sürs pour ces instruments. << C'est une meilleure approche que la proposition initiale de la Commission européenne, mais, elle reste insuffisante. Des tensiomètres sans mercure sont disponibles dans le commerce, évalués par des organismes scientifiques reconnus, et déjà employés par des hTMpitaux européens, È explique Wiebke Winkler.

Concernant les baromètres, le Conseil des ministres a affaibli la proposition de la Commission européenne, car il accorde un délai supplémentaire de deux ans aux fabricants de baromètres à mercure. Au regard des importants risques sanitaires et environnementaux que ces dispositifs présentent en cas de casse (ils contiennent presque mille fois plus de mercure que les thermomètres), ce délai appara”t totalement injustifié. En outre, les quelques fabricants européens de ces baromètres proposent déjà, en général, également des versions sans mercure (1).

En vue de la deuxième lecture de cette directive au Parlement européen, les ONG de défense de l'environnement et de la santé appellent les députés européens à restreindre, au plus vite, l'emploi du mercure dans tous les équipements de mesure et de contrôle.

Pour plus d'information :
Wiebke Winkler, campagne << Santé et Environnement È du CNIID au 01 55 78 28 64 ou
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

(1) http://www.russell-scientific.co.uk/, http://www.barometerworld.co.uk/default.htm , http://www.comitti.comhttp://www.barometers.com/index.htm http://www.rosebarometers.nl