Starting in September and until December, the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury will hold a weekly series of free online sessions aimed at better understanding the Convention's provisions, as well as policy and scientific aspects.
Starting in September and until December, the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury will hold a weekly series of free online sessions aimed at better understanding the Convention's provisions, as well as policy and scientific aspects. Titled Minamata Online, this digital initiative strengthens the continuation of learning and collaboration among parties and stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention Monika Stankiewicz stated, in her letter to the parties, that “sharing knowledge and best practices has always been at the very heart of the Minamata Convention and I, and the entire Secretariat are honored to carry this spirit to the digital space and help to build back better”. She added that “Minamata Online is poised to be a source of knowledge and support, especially to the parties from developing countries and countries with economies in transition”.
With a duration of 60 to 90 minutes, these 13 sessions will be arranged according to three streams: implementation review and support, mercury science, and preparation for the Conference of the Parties (COP4) . In order to facilitate the access to the events, some of the sessions will be held twice on the same day according to different time zones, and video recordings will be made openly available afterwards.
The first session, which will take place twice on Thursday, 17 September, will focus on effectiveness evaluation indicators. Other dates will cover topics ranging from national reporting, to mercury trade, to mercury emissions, to waste and contaminated sites, as well as the mercury material flows, multimedia modeling of global mercury movement and the socio-economic impacts of mercury pollution. An invitation-only session with identified experts will happen on the 15th ahead of the official launch.
This digital engagement has been developed in collaboration with the Global Mercury Partnership (GMP), the International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP) and the Geneva Environment Network (GEN). Targeted to government officials, scientists, NGOs, and other stakeholders, attendance is free for each session and registrations for the September events are now open.
The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. It draws attention to a global and ubiquitous metal that, while naturally occurring, has broad uses in everyday objects and is released to the atmosphere, soil and water from a variety of sources.
* The next meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP4), which is the governing body that advances, reviews and evaluates the implementation of the Convention, will take place next year in Bali.