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Press Release

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 Events

Events
Show: ArrowAllArrowEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercuryArrowAll events

DateName of eventPlaceCategory
October 2011
05.10 - 06.10.2011CEE regional meeting in preparation for the Hg INC 3Brno, Czech Republic All events
September 2011
26.09 - 28.09.2011Asia Pacific regional meeting in preparation for Hg INC 3Kobe, JapanAll events
19.09 - 23.09.2011GRULAC regional meeting in preparation for Hg INC 3Panama City, PanamaAll events
12.09 - 16.09.2011African Regional meeting in preparation for Hg INC 3Ouagadougou, Burkina FasoAll events
February 2011
21.02 - 25.02.201126th Session of the UNEP Governing Council Global Ministerial Environment ForumNairobi, KenyaAll events
January 2011
24.01 - 28.01.20112nd (UNEP) Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee meeting for the development of a mercury treatyChiba, JapanAll events
23.01.2011ZMWG/CACP NGO lunch event - Honoring MinamataChiba, JapanEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
November 2010
30.11.2010GRS/BMU International Conference on Underground Hazardous Waste DisposalBraunschweig, GermanyAll events
September 2010
21.09 - 22.09.2010UNEP Mercury Partnership, Partnership Advisory GroupGenevaAll events
20.09.2010En.Lighten 1st Taskforce meeting GenevaAll events
June 2010
18.06.2010Review of the EU Mercury strategy - consultation meetingBrusselsAll events
07.06 - 11.06.20101st Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee(INC) on Mercury Stockhom, SwedenAll events
May 2010
10.05 - 14.05.2010Basel Convention, OEWG 7Geneva, SwitzerlandAll events
April 2010
20.04 - 25.04.20102010 International Mercury EXPOThe College of William and Mary All events
March 2010
05.03 - 13.03.2010SAICM regional meeting for Latin American and the Caribbean , together with regional mercury consultations (UNEP) and a nanotechnology workshop (OECD/UNITAR/IOMCKingston, JamaicaAll events
February 2010
24.02 - 26.02.201011th Special Session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment ForumBali, IndonesiaAll events
22.02 - 26.02.2010Simultaneous extraordinary meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm ConventionsBali, Indonesia All events
21.02 - 22.02.201011th Session of UNEP Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF) Bali, IndonesiaAll events
01.02 - 03.02.20105th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CHILDREN'S HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENTBangalore, IndiaAll events
January 2010
25.01 - 29.01.2010Africa regional meeting on SAICM, workshop nanotechnology and industrial chemicals, Abidjan, Cote D'ivoireAbidjan, Cote D'ivoireAll events
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