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
13:15 - 14:45

CET

Room 3

The Secretariat of the Minamata Convention is convening a special session on mercury science, with funding from the Government of Japan. For the planning of the session, the Secretariat consulted with Prof. Jozef Pacyna, chair of the International Conference on Mercury as Global Pollutants held in Krakow, Poland in September 2019, and invited the following speakers.

  • Mr. Nil Basu, McGill University, Canada
  • Ms. Milena Horvat, Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia
  • Ms. Joy Leaner, Western Cape Government, South Africa
  • Mr. Olaf Malm, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Mr. Jozef Pacyna, AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland
  • Mr. Mineshi Sakamoto, National Institute for Minamata Disease, Japan
18:15 - 19:00

CET

Room 15

Development of National Action Plans (NAPs) for artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is an obligation under Article 7 of the Minamata Convention for each Party that determines that mercury use in ASGM in its territory is “more than insignificant”. Recognizing that the ASGM sector is closely linked to complex economic, social and environmental issues, the Convention allows flexible, country-specific solutions through the development of NAP to reduce and where feasible eliminate mercury use in the ASGM sector. Till date, 35 countries have embarked on the development of a NAP. Several of them have already completed or are about to endorse and submit their NAP to the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention.

The side event will present the global status and progress made on the NAP development. It will highlight the challenges that national teams have encountered during such process and discuss possible solutions to overcome them, including with respect to the future NAP implementation. The event will be organized around key issues and strategies of NAPs, including for example: i) developing a national overview of the ASGM sector, ii) developing formalization strategies, iii) developing public health strategy, and/or iv) managing mercury trade regionally. Further, it will feature a discussion on paving the road towards implementation, including with respect to mobilizing financial resources, leveraging political will and inter-ministerial coordination. The audience will have an opportunity to share their experiences and questions through an online polling tool.

18:15 - 19:00

CET

Room 18

18:15 Dangerous, mercury-laden and often illegal skin lightening products: readily available for (online) purchase
Michael Bender, MPP/ZMWG
Shahriar Hossain, ESDO, Bangladesh

18:29 Enforcement measures to restrict high mercury cosmetic products under the Minamata Convention
Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, EEB/ZMWG,
Jam Lorenzo, Ban Toxics, Philippines
Griffins Ochieng, CEJAD, Kenya

18:43 Outreach to affected communities
Amira Adawe, The Beautywell Project

18:50 Questions & Anwsers
19:00 Closure

13:15 - 14:45

CET

Room 1

Objectives:

  • Inform participants on the intersessional process (IP) for SAICM and the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 and the journey towards the fifth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5)
     
  • Moderate a discussion on strengthening coordination and engagement for the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 in response to the SAICM independent evaluation and in line with the 2030 Agenda.
18:15 - 19:00

CET

Room 15

This event aims to inform the audience about the high ambition alliance on chemicals and waste. It will also discuss the opportunities of a global framework for addressing challenges in the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020, including its relationship with the chemicals and waste related conventions.

The Government of Sweden and Uruguay will host the event and present the ideas behind creating the high ambition alliance on chemicals and waste. What it is envisioned to contribute with? Who should and can take part?

13:15 - 14:45

CET

Room 18

The event will share the outcomes of the regional workshop held in Bolivia in October 2019. The workshop was co-hosted by the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention and the Government of Bolivia to exchange information on mercury trade between countries of Latin America and the Caribbean region and to support the countries in the implementation of their obligations under the Convention. Following the presentation on the regional perspectives and outcomes of the workshop, two countries will present their national and regional experience and challenges to control and keep track of mercury trades.

18:15 - 19:00

CET

Room 18

This event will be the official global launch of new WHO Guidance on Strategic Planning for Implementation of the Health-related Articles of the Minamata Convention, and will share experience from its early use in countries. The objective is to foster collaboration between the health and other sectors, provide a forum for the health sector to showcase their work, as well as explain the opportunities and challenges encountered.

13:15 - 14:45

CET

Room 15

The Special Programme, also known as the Chemicals and Waste Management Programme, provides support to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to enhance their sustainable institutional capacity to develop, adopt, monitor and enforce policy, legislation and regulation for effective frameworks for the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the Minamata Convention and SAICM.

13:15 - 14:45

CET

Room 18

The Minamata convention is regulating the formal trade and use of mercury. But little information is available on the formal and especially informal pathways of mercury and how these drive the artisanal gold economies. From its original source to the gold mining sites at the other end of the world, trade routes of illicit mercury remain largely elusive to this day.

An insight into the supply routes and value chain of the mercury market is needed to support the reduction of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM). Where does the mercury originate from? How was it transported and by whom? Through which channels, formal or informal? Who benefits most from this trade? Which systems are constraining mercury free artisanal gold?

To answer these questions, IUCN NL initiated a study on the political ecology of the gold-mercury link to identify illicit mercury flows, trade hubs and key players in multiple countries, namely Guyana & Suriname, Bolivia, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Burkina Faso.

The objectives of this global study are: 1) to improve the understanding of mercury flows, trade hubs and key players, 2) to enhance the governance of mercury in the ASGM sectors of the target countries, 3) to enhance recognition of the scale and impact of the informal mercury trade, and 4) to showcase that this is a global problem.

After an intensive investigation phase by local teams existing of partner NGOs coached by globally recognized expert consultants, IUCN NL in collaboration with all partners and in consultation with UNEP is presenting initial results. We aim to strengthen the Minamata convention with information that is not available through official channels and presents an addition to the knowledge collected in UNEP’s global mercury assessment. We want to inform national governments about formal and informal mercury trade pathways and shed light onto the key players driving the trade. We hope to support National Action Plans with the insight gained into the illicit mercury trade to enhance the governance of mercury in the ASGM sector. Furthermore, we aim to raise awareness in the global community about the influence and impact of the illicit mercury trade on ASGM.

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

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