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
Knowledge Lab
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.

18:15 - 19:00

CET

This event aims to support the Minamata Convention delegates in their discussion on effectiveness evaluation and the establishment of the evaluation framework by presenting the scientific background of the report of the ad hoc expert group on mercury monitoring. Key leading scientists, who were involved with drafting the report, will provide more detailed descriptions about the suggested approaches.

13:15 - 14:00

CET

Peru is the sixth gold producing country in the world and the second in the Latin American region. Despite the ASGM activity represents around 12% of the total gold production in Peru, this activity is responsible of more than one third of the total emissions and releases of mercury to the environment.

Controlling and reducing these issues represents one of the biggest challenges to accomplish with the Minamata Convention goals, since ASGM situation in Peru is extremely complex: there are different types of mining (alluvial and philonian mining) and processes to obtain gold, as well as different institutional arrangements; some of which obstruct the adoption of alternative and more efficient technologies compared to mercury.

The national experience promoting free-mercury and clean technologies in this activity have shown that does not exist a single recipe to this problem.

Minamata Convention on mercury has served as a platform to boost national actions to address mercury use in the ASGM and to strengthen the formalization process of miners. Nevertheless, in doing so, Peru has struggled with different challenges and has experienced particular cases that can contribute to the way this problem is being approached internationally.

14:00 - 14:45

CET

Background

The Minamata Convention on Mercury has provided “us” the opportunity for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to reducing mercury use in the ASGM sector - the world’s largest Hg-consumer and emitter.

18:15 - 19:00

CET

This knowledge lab will present how electronic tools can effectively support the effectiveness evaluation under the Minamata Convention and how to reach wider audience and broad range of stakeholders.

List of Presenters:

  • Ms. Katerina Sebkova  (registered as CZ delegation)
  • Ms. Ana-Maria Witt - BRS Secretariat, Geneva
  • Ms. Katarina Magulova - BRS Secretariat, Geneva
  • Prof. Martin Scheringer - RECETOX, Masaryk University
13:15 - 14:45

CET

Localisation of mercury waste treatment

It´s not rocket science!

Speaker: Reinhard Schmidt, CEO econ industries

Countries that do not have sufficient infrastructure to treat their own mercury containing wastes and elemental mercury stockpiles only have two fundamentally different options: Exporting of wastes or building up local treatment facilities. Hazardous waste export requires a significant amount of bureaucracy, packaging and transport. Export also involves considerable time requirements, expenses and emissions. Localisation of mercury waste treatment opens the door for an increase of local waste treatment know how with qualified jobs. Localisation also maximises transparency in mercury waste handling. On a long term basis localisation of waste treatment is the more economic solution. Since 16 years econ industries is supplier for larger and smaller solutions for the treatment of hazardous wastes. The company has installed hazardous waste treatment facilities in over 15 countries worldwide. The lecture should encourage local stakeholders to build and operate own mercury waste treatment facilities, based on equipment which is affordable and `Made in Germany´.

18:15 - 19:00

CET

Presenters of “Indigenous Voices from the Southeastern Peruvian Amazon: Mercury-related issues and their Impact on their Health and Communities” will share their experiences as leaders, members, as well as advisors to indigenous communities in Peru, with a focus on the country’s Southeastern Amazon, the region of Madre de Dios. Mercury contamination from small-scale and artisanal mining (ASGM) occurs throughout the country, often impacting indigenous populations hardest because of a diet high in river fish. For the tribes living in voluntary isolation (Pueblos Indígenas en Situación de Aislamiento y Contacto Inicial (PIACI)), there is even greater concern about the health effects of mercury on already-vulnerable populations. The Indigenous Federation of the Madre de Dios River and its Tributaries (La Federación Nativa del Río Madre de Dios y Afluentes (FENAMAD)) along with The Inter-Ethnic Association for Development in the Peruvian Rainforest (Asociación Interétnica de Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana (AIDESEP), will share their perspectives, the challenges they face, and their hopes for implementing strategic goals to alleviate the toxic body-burdens in their communities.

13:15 - 14:00

CET

The event will introduce the devastating and growing problem of illegal mining and mercury use in the Amazon biome; presenting its major impacts upon local and indigenous societies, the environmental end economic consequences, and the regional coordinated actions that need to be addressed not only from a national perspective, but from an international collaborative effort between Amazon countries and others involved in gold markets.

It will also help to introduce the regional multi-stakeholder Mercury Free Amazon Alliance and its strategy that have been developed to tackle the problem of illegal gold mining from a comprehensive and integral perspective that comprises environmental, social, health, economic and global markets considerations.

Finally, the Amazon regional analysis on mercury impacts will be launched during the event, presenting some of the most important results. 

14:00 - 14:45

CET

The event aims to build on the technical assistance and legislative frameworks adopted to date in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions to promote the effective enforcement of the commitments taken by ACP countries as Parties to chemicals and waste conventions including the Minamata, BRS and Bamako conventions. This will be ensured through improved compliance with and enforcement of key policies and legislations in countries; specific protocols and mechanisms that facilitate the sharing of information and experiences; and the provision of sound environmental data and tools to policy makers to close the gap between science and policy experienced at the national level.

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