Minamata Convention on Mercury came into force this week (Aug. 16)
Minamata Convention on Mercury
came into force this week
The United Nations Environment Program’s Minamata Convention on Mercury came into force on August 16th. The aim of the Convention is “to protect the human health and the environment” from mercury releases. The treaty holds critical obligations for Parties to ban new primary mercury mines while phasing out existing ones and also includes a ban on many common products and processes using mercury, measures to control releases, and a requirement for national plans to reduce mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining. In addition, it seeks to reduce trade, promote sound storage of mercury and its disposal, address contaminated sites and reduce exposure from this dangerous neurotoxin. One thousand delegates and around 50 ministers will assemble in Geneva, Switzerland, September 24th-29th, for the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to celebrate the new Convention and to lay the groundwork for its success.