**** 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.


Home Event details

EEB conference "Towards a Mercury-free world"

Madrid, Spain
Events organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury

Additional Information

Friday 22 April 2005
Madrid , Spain
VENUE: Hotel Emperador, Gran Via, 53, 28013 Madrid, Spain,
Tel: +34 91 547 28 00/547 60 00


Conference “Towards a Mercury-free world” (open to public)

The conference will take place in English and Spanish.

9:00 Registration
9:30 Welcome Theo Oberhuber, Ecologistas en Acción John Hontelez, EEB
9:40 Introduction – Zero Mercury –a global campaign Elena Lymberidi, EEB
10:00 Health effects of mercury Genon Jensen, EEN-EPHA
10:30 Mercury uses, releases and trade Peter Maxson, Concorde East/West
11:15 Coffee break
11:45 Mercury - a global problem Uses/releases in the Developing World
Artisanal Gold-mining - Mercury in the Amazon
Ravi Agarwal, Toxics Link, India Karen Suassuna, ACPO, Brazil
12:15 Experiences from Slovenia, Idrija. Milena Horvat, Jozef Stefan Institute
12:35 Progressive steps from National Governments - The Swedish strategy Petra Hagström, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Sweden.
13:00 The global dimension - UNEP Governing Council decision on Mercury Michael Bender, MPP, Ban Hg WG
13:30 Lunch
15:00 Community strategy on Mercury Timo Makela, DG ENV EC
15:30 Panel discussion on the EU Strategy and the future steps to be taken - mining, trade, chlor-alkali, assistance to developing countries, etc Moderator: John Hontelez Timo Makela, DG ENV, EC Arturo G. Aizpiri, Min. Env. Spain Petra Hagstr ö m, Swedish Min. Env. Arseen Seys, Eurochlor Eduardo Martinez , MAYASA Milena Horvat, Josef Stefan Institute Hana Kuncova, Arnika Ravi Agarwal, Toxics Link, India Peter Maxson, Concorde East/West
18:00 Conclusions John Hontelez, EEB