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Minamata Convention groups conduct virtual meetings towards curbing mercury pollution

With two online meetings of expert groups under the Minamata Convention on Mercury convened recently by the Secretariat, work appears to have continued, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, towards the provision of technical support to control and reduce mercury pollution for the benefit of the environment and human health.  

Rossana Silva Repetto
Rossana Silva Repetto, Executive Secretary, Minamata Convention on Mercury. Photo credit: IISD Reporting Services

Held on Thursday, May 7, 2020, the first teleconference was the “Minamata Convention Ad Hoc Group of Experts on Review of Annexes A and B”, which had 29 participants.

The group was established following the Decision MC-3/1 taken at the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to contribute to the COP process to review the list of products and manufacturing processes using mercury controlled under the Convention.

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Of that group, several submissions have been received from parties. Non-parties and others were invited to provide further information on products and processes using mercury and non-mercury alternatives until Friday, May 15.

The second group that met on May 7 was the “Minamata Convention Group of Technical Experts on Mercury Releases” with 30 participants. According to the COP3 decision MC-3/4, the group will continue to work by electronic means.

Following the mentioned decision, the Secretariat invited submissions of information on release estimation methods from parties until April 15. The draft general guidance on the methodology for preparing inventories of releases has been posted for comments until June 19.

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A brief summary of the meetings will be posted on the web, says the Secretariat, adding that while widespread travel restrictions are still in place, it will organise the online collaboration with its parties in an inclusive manner that supports the implementation of the Convention besides lowering the environmental footprint to move forward towards the COP-4, to be held from October 31 to November 5, 2021 in Bali under the Indonesian Presidency.

With 128 signatories, the Convention has so far been ratified by 119 countries.

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