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22 September 2017

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PRESS RELEASE: 

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:

http://www.mercuryconvention.org

www.zeromercury.org

Contacts:


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.



 

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Events / Events organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
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DateName of eventPlaceCategory
January 2018
26.01 - 12.02.2018CALL FOR TENDER: EEB/ZMWG WEBSITE RESTRUCTURINGBrussels Events organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
May 2017
24.05 - 25.05.2017EEB/ZMWG African Regional Conference on Phasing out mercury added productsNairobi, KenyaEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
23.05 - 24.05.2017EEB/ZMWG African Regional Forum on ASGM Nairobi, KenyaEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
January 2011
23.01.2011ZMWG/CACP NGO lunch event - Honoring MinamataChiba, JapanEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
June 2009
19.06.2009NGOs strategy meeting on mercury policiesBrusselsEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
18.06.2009EEB/ZMWG/HCWH Conference 'EU mercury phase out in measuring and control equipment'BrusselsEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
October 2008
04.10.2008ZMWG/NGOs strategy meetingNairobi KenyaEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
June 2008
27.06.2008EEB conference: "Mercury-containing lamps under the spotlight"BrusselsEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
September 2007
03.09 - 07.09.2007Basel Convention: The sixth session of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG6)Geneva, SwitzerlandEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
May 2007
26.05.2007Zero Mercury Working Group - NGOs only meetingBrusselsEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
25.05.2007EEB-HEAL-ZMWG Conference "Dental Sector as a source of mercury contamination"BrusselsEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
October 2006
26.10 - 28.10.2006Environmental and Health NGOs internal meeting on global strategies concerning mercury.BrusselsEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
August 2006
07.08 - 10.08.2006International conference - side event “Finding Solutions to the Global Mercury Crisis”.Madison, Wisconsin, USAEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
June 2006
19.06.2006EEB Conference: "EU Mercury surplus management and mercury use in measuring and control equipment”BrusselsEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
18.06.2006Zero Mercury Working group internal NGOs meeting on mercuryBrusselsEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
April 2005
22.04.2005EEB conference "Towards a Mercury-free world"Madrid, SpainEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
November -1
30.11.-1Workshop on “Developing Baseline Estimates for the ASGM sector: Introduction to the UN Environment toolkit”Nairobi, KenyaEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury
30.11.-1Workshop on “Developing Baseline Estimates for the ASGM sector: Introduction to the UN Nairobi, KenyaEvents organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury