cop3

Third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-3)

Geneva, Switzerland, 25 Nov 2019 - 29 Nov 2019
Meeting Information

The third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP3) took place from 25 to 29 November 2019 at the International Conference Centre in Geneva, Switzerland.

The list of Parties at COP3 is available here.

The daily coverage and summary report by IISD Reporting Services is available at: http://enb.iisd.org/mercury/cop3/

Following COP3, the Secretariat contacted parties and stakeholders regarding follow-up matters. The follow-up letter is available here.

The Programme of Work activity factsheets, submitted to COP3 as information document UNEP/MC/COP.3/INF/9, have been updated by the Secretariat based on the COP3 decisions and are available here.

The updated sheets provide an overview of the planned activities in the intersessional period until COP4. Please note, however, that these do not necessarily contain all the latest detailed information on the ongoing work. For additional information, please consult the dedicated page on intersessional work and submissions for COP4 and the budget of the Minamata Convention for 2020-2021 that can be found here.

Documents
Intersessional Work

Intersessional work and Submissions for COP3

At its second meeting, the Conference of the Parties agreed on a number of action items to effectively implement the Minamata Convention and prepare for the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland on 25-29 November 2019. In some areas, submissions are invited by parties and other stakeholders, while in other areas submissions are expected through the members of the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties.

Information should be submitted to the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention, MEA-MinamataSecretariat [at] un.org

Harmonized System codes

COP-2 in its decision MC-2/9, requested the Secretariat in collaboration with the Global Mercury Partnership and in consultation with relevant organisations, to suggest approaches for customs codes to identify and distinguish non-mercury-added and mercury-added products listed in annex A to the Convention, including approaches for their possible harmonization. 

A draft report was coordinated by the Secretariat in consultation with the Products Partnership, and it was sent to the partners of the Products Partnership on 31 May 2019 for final input and review. The draft report was posted here on 7 June 2019. Parties, signatories and other stakeholders are invited to submit comments by 1 August 2019, including information on the current use of the customs code in relation to mercury-added products.

Submissions from governments

Submissions from other organisations

Mercury Releases to land and water

Pursuant to Decision MC-2/3 a group of technical experts on guidance in relation to mercury releases was established to prepare a report on the identification of significant anthropogenic point source of release categories not addressed in the provisions of the Convention other than article 9, for consideration by COP-3. The list of members and observers of the group is available here. The group will work electronically.

Parties and other stakeholders were invited to submit information related to the identification of relevant point source categories of release by 15 February 2019.

Submissions from governments

Submissions from other organisations

Draft report from the group of technical experts, based on the discussion at its two teleconferences, was posted here on 15 May 2019. Parties, signatories and other stakeholders were invited to submit comments by 15 June 2019. The following comments have been received. The group of technical experts will finalize the report taking into account the comments received.

Submissions from governments

Submissions from other organisations

Mercury waste thresholds

Pursuant to Decision MC-2/2, a group of technical experts on waste thresholds was established to work on a number of technical issues on the establishment of mercury waste thresholds under article 11, for consideration by COP-3. The list of members and observers of the group is available here. The group also invites input from other experts to assist it in its work as appropriate. Parties and other stakeholders were invited to submit relevant information for the intersessional work by 15 February 2019.

Submissions from governments

Submissions from other organisations

The group of technical experts met in Osaka, Japan from 27 to 29 May 2019. The meeting documents are available below. (WORD documents)

  • UNEP/MC/WT.1/1 Provisional agenda
  • UNEP/MC/WT.1/1/Add.1 Annotations to the provisional agenda
  • UNEP/MC/WT.1/2 Relevant Convention text and decision on mercury waste
  • UNEP/MC/WT.1/3 Compilation of comments on the clarification and refinement of the coverage of each of the three categories of mercury waste listed in paragraph 2 of article 11
  • UNEP/MC/WT.1/4 Compilation of comments on the lists of mercury waste
  • UNEP/MC/WT.1/5 Compilation of comments on the establishment of mercury waste thresholds
  • UNEP/MC/WT.1/5/Add.1 Information relating to analytical methods of mercury in wastes
  • UNEP/MC/WT.1/6 Compilation of comments on approaches for establishing thresholds for overburden, waste rock and tailings, except from primary mercury mining
  • UNEP/MC/MT.1/7 Report of the meeting

Guidance on the management of contaminated sites

Pursuant to Decision MC-2/8, Parties and other stakeholders were invited to submit comments and information to complement and further improve the draft Guidance submitted to COP-2 (UNEP/MC/COP.2/7) by 15 February 2019, based on which the Secretariat will revise the draft Guidance for consideration by COP-3.

Submissions from governments

Submissions from other organisations

Revised draft guidance, developed by the Secretariat taking into account these submissions, was posted here on 17 May 2019. Parties, signatories and other stakeholders were invited to submit comments by 21 June 2019. The following comments have been received. The Secretariat will revise the draft taking into account the submitted comments and in consultation with experts nominated after COP-1.

Submissions from governments

Submissions from other organisations

Review of financial mechanism

COP-2 requested the secretariat to compile information to be provided by the Global Environment Facility, the Specific International Programme, parties and other relevant sources as identified by paragraph 11 of article 13 as being necessary for the review of the financial mechanism (paragraph 120 of the COP-2 report UNEP/MC/COP.2/19).In the letter from the Executive Secretary on 3 December 2018, parties and other stakeholders were invited to submit information relevant to the level of funding, the guidance provided by the COP to the entities entrusted to operationalize the financial mechanism and their effectiveness, and their ability to address the changing needs of developing country parties and parties with economies in transition, by 31 May 2019.

Capacity-building, technical assistance and technology transfer

COP-2 requested the secretariat in its decision MC-2/11 to collect the information received from the existing regional, subregional and national arrangements on their capacity-building and technical assistance to support parties in implementing their obligations under the Minamata Convention. In the letter from the Executive Secretary on 3 December 2018, parties and other stakeholders were invited to submit relevant information by 31 May 2019. Submission deadline was extended until 20 June 2019.

Submissions from governments

Emission of mercury resulting from the open burning of waste

COP-2 requested the secretariat to continue to collect and make available information relevant to emissions of mercury resulting from the open burning of waste (paragraph 184 of the COP-2 report UNEP/MC/COP.2/19). In the letter from the Executive Secretary on 3 December 2018, parties and other stakeholders were invited to submit relevant information by 31 May 2019. The following submission was received. Submission deadline was extended until 20 June 2019.

Submissions from governments

Effectiveness evaluation

All the information on the Ad-hoc Technical Expert Group on Effectiveness Evaluation is available here.

Other intersessional work


Photos and videos
COP3 Photo gallery

To see photos from the Conference, please visit our Flickr Albums

 

Agenda
Side Event
13:00 - 14:00

CET

Room 3

Article 21 of the Convention requests parties to periodically report on the measures taken to implement the Convention, effectiveness of these measures, and possible challenges they face. The first "short" reporting is due by 31 December 2019, covering Article 3 (mercury supply and trade) and Article 11 (waste). The full reporting is due by 31 December 2021, when parties are expected to report on the measures to phase out mercury-added products by 2020, national action plan on artisanal and small-scale gold mining, etc.

14:00 - 15:00

CET

Room 2

Modérateur/Moderator  Mme/Ms. Oarabile Serumola (Botswana)

Thèmes Items Speakers / Intervenants Duration
Conclusions sur l’analyse de la situation régionale sur la dentisterie en Afrique Conclusions on the analysis of the regional situation on dentistry in Africa Ing. Serge Molly Allo'o Allo'o (Gabon) 5mn
Pourquoi la région Afrique soutien-t-il l’élimination de l’amalgame dentaire ? Why does the Africa region support the face out dental amalgam? Dr. Christopher Kapeshi (Zambia) 5mn
Expérience des alternatives disponibles pour une dentisterie sans mercure en Afrique : Cas de la Côte d’Ivoire Experience of alternatives available for mercury-free dentistry in Africa: Case of Côte d'Ivoire Dr. Sy Martial (Côte d’Ivoire) 5mn
Pourquoi l’Alliance mondiale pour une dentisterie sans mercure soutient la proposition d’amendement de la région Afrique ? Why is the Global Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry supporting the Africa Region Amendment Proposal? Charlie G. Brown (USA)

Sharhriar Hossain Ph.D Vice President, World Alliance (Asia Pacific/ Bangladesh)
5mn

5mn
Dentisterie sans mercure, opportunité sanitaires et environnementales pour les pays en développement Mercury-free dentistry, health and environmental opportunities for developing countries Mariscia Charles (Guyana) 5mn
Fondement juridique de la proposition d’amendement de l’Annexe A proposé par la région Afrique Legal basis of the proposed amendment to Annex A proposed by the Africa region Dr. Wondwossen Syntayehu (Ethiopie/Institut Africain) 5mn
Questions réponse Reactions/comments   20mn

Le Side Event se déroulera en français et en anglais avec une traduction simultanée dans les deux langues. Des sandwiches et des boissons seront servis / The Side Event will be held in French and English with simultaneous translation in both languages. Sandwiches and drinks will be served

13:15 - 14:45

CET

Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the largest anthropogenic source of mercury globally. Under the Minamata Convention on Mercury, Parties agreed to take steps to reduce, and where feasible eliminate, the use of mercury and mercury compounds from ASGM. To address this sector, the GEF approved a $45 million global program, Global Opportunities for Long Term Development of the ASGM Sector (GEF GOLD). This program now has its own identity and is branded planetGOLD. 

During this side event, some of the main issues associated with the ASGM sector will be presented, including formalization, finance, and alternative technologies to mercury. Through video, the event will bring miners’ voices to the COP, to identify practical issues and barriers in reducing/eliminating mercury in ASGM. A panel of experts and the audience will then offer their perspectives and possible available solutions.

13:15 - 14:45

CET

Room 3

Introduction

Multilateral Environmental Agreements are fundamental instruments in strengthening the environmental dimension of 2030 Agenda. In this wider context of sustainable development, the MEAs have a crucial role not only in responding to environmental challenges but preserving the human wellbeing, healthy ecosystems and food security.

The biodiversity and chemicals/waste related MEAs cut across all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.  In addition to their distinct legal mandates, many interlinkages exist across the conventions. These interlinkages and cross-cutting issues provide concrete footsteps and opportunities for closer cooperation at all levels. New thinking and models for action are needed to reverse the current environmental trends.  There are increasing calls to address the challenges coherently by working together, outside the silos.

The current ongoing processes on post-2020 framework for SAICM and the post-2020 biodiversity framework provide important avenues for enhancing policy coherence and cooperation. These future looking processes offer concrete ways to enhance synergies both among the different MEAs as well as in the wider UN-system.  The Chemicals and Waste Branch of UNEP in consultation with Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC) and other institutions is currently working on an Assessment paper, which seeks to assess the linkages between chemicals and waste management and other international policy agendas and to identify opportunities for coordination and cooperation. The paper presents an entry point to further build on synergies between identified policy agendas, including implementing biodiversity and chemicals/waste agendas at national, regional and global level. 

UNEP and the various environmental agreements need to further strengthen the joint actions to deliver on the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Promoting synergies of MEAs across biodiversity and chemicals/ waste clusters is one of the key areas of work in this regard. 

13:15 - 14:00

CET

Room 18

The event will address the various challenges of both the point and diffuse sources of mercury releases and emissions from the dental sector. A roadmap to phase out the use of mercury dental amalgam will be shared. It sets out a new standard for best environmental practices and utilize the best available technology for the permanent abatement of mercury pollution from the dental sector.

Programme: three PowerPoint presentations followed with opportunity for questions from the delegates to the expert panelists.

14:00 - 14:45

CET

Room 18

Moderator: Dr, Shahriar Hossain (World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry), Bangladesh

Thèmes Items Speakers/Intervenants Duration
L’Amendement porté par la région Afrique, une priorité à l’ordre du jour de la COP 3 : Pourquoi un amendement porté par la région Afrique The African Amalgam Amendment, a high on agenda at COP3: Why the African Amendment Ing. Serge Molly Allo'o Allo'o (Gabon) 5mn
Pourquoi la fin de l’amalgame chez les enfants et les mères allaitantes est significatif et constitue une étape d’équité entre le monde entier et l’Europe Why Ending amalgam for children and nursing mother is significant and a step to equity of the entire world with Europe Dr. Graeme Munro Hall (UK) 5mn
Pourquoi la région Afrique soutien-t-elle l’élimination de l’amalgame dentaire ? Why does the Africa region support the face out dental amalgam? Dr. Christopher Kapeshi (Zambie) 5mn
Dommages environnementaux importants pour l'alimentation des enfants / Major environmental harm for children’s diets Explain the major environmental harm for children’s diets in developing countries unless the transition to mercury-free dentistry begins now Michael Bender (USA) 5mn
Pourquoi l’Alliance mondiale pour une dentisterie sans mercure soutient la proposition d’amendement de la région Afrique ? Why is the Global Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry supporting the Africa Region Amendment Proposal? Charlie G. Brown (USA) 5mn
Fondement juridique de la proposition d’amendement de l’Annexe A proposé par la région Afrique Legal basis of the proposed amendment to Annex A proposed by the Africa region Dr. Wondwossen Syntayehu (Ethiopie/Institut Africain) 5mn
Open Discussions Reactions/comments   10mn
13:15 - 14:45

CET

Room 18

National governments, with funding provided by the GEF and technical assistance provided by GEF implementing agencies, have over the past years been implementing Minamata Initial Assessments (MIAs) that aim to strengthen national decision-making toward ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury and build national capacity towards implementation of future obligations.

The overall objective of this side event is to showcase how the knowledge generated through MIA contributes to timely and effective ratification and implementation of the Minamata Convention.

13:15 - 14:45

CET

Room 2

Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) has challenging environmental and social implications. The sector significantly contributes to mercury emissions the environment creating damage to human health and the environment. Many efforts are under way to improve this situation. With this side-event the Government of Switzerland and its partners would like to discuss the implementation of the Minamata Convention with regard to ASGM in different countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Ghana, Mongolia, Nigeria, and Peru. Where does mercury free ASGM work and why? What alternative approaches and better practices exist? How should tailings in ASGM be managed? How can formalization lead to better practices? How can a traceable value chain encourage the reduction of mercury use eventually to zero? What role can the harmonization of legislation play?

The event is targeted towards delegates from different ministries, NGOs and the private sector all dealing with the challenges in the ASGM sector. The event will discuss the questions above through concrete examples of different countries.

Knowledge Lab
13:15 - 14:00

CET

Objectives:

  • Engage civil society organizations and indigenous peoples representatives to provide inputs to the COP
  • Share experiences and lessons from community-based actions on mercury management

Organizer:  GEF Small Grants Programme, together with Minamata Convention Secretariat and partners

Moderator: Xiaofang Zhou, Director of Montreal Protocol Unit, UNDP

14:00 - 14:45

CET

The BCRC-Caribbean has executed as well as participated in numerous mercury-related projects to help further the implementation of the Minamata Convention and raise awareness of the issue of mercury in the Caribbean region. Some initiatives include Minamata Initial Assessments (MIA) projects across nine countries; Fish Mercury Biomonitoring in the Caribbean Region Project; and a National Action Plan for ASGM in the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.

In carrying out these projects, the lack of knowledge on the issue of mercury amongst stakeholders ranging from government officials, healthcare professionals, waste management professionals and the general public were noted. The need to gain support from the range of stakeholders in order to enhance the ratification and/or implementation of the Minamata Convention was a key factor in ensuring project success.

Awareness raising tools and materials were developed under each project. Under the first MIA conducted, live-action videos (filmed in each participating country) detailing the importance of the project were developed to use as an informational piece for government personnel. Bridged versions of these videos were also developed to sensitize the general public. Informational Graphics were also developed to target awareness on different mercury related issues such as mercury in cosmetics.  These were printed and placed strategically in schools and health care facilities.

Student seminars and high-level workshops were also conducted to raise the profile of mercury awareness in the Caribbean. This played a key role in the Government of Saint Lucia ratifying the Convention following the project.

The successes and lessons learned from this project has now informed the development of awareness raising animated videos under the subsequent MIAs and other project initiatives.

The aim of this knowledge lab will be to share the different strategies and materials developed by the BCRC-Caribbean under these projects and discuss the lessons learned for enhancing awareness raising in order to promote the ratification and implementation of the Minamata Convention. Also joining the BCRC-Caribbean will be the Project Director of the GEFGOLD Project from Conservation International-Guyana who will also be sharing the awareness raising materials developed under their project to further promote collaboration and information exchange. Overall, the knowledge lab is expected to promote information sharing across the regions and promote South-to-South cooperation for other Parties or agencies in their efforts to raise awareness on different aspects of mercury management.

The different awareness raising material including videos and pamphlets will be shared in a presentation format by the BCRC-Caribbean. The presentation will also aim to discuss tools and good practices for the development of communication strategies for chemicals management.

Newsroom