New Report: Global Mercury Hotspots
New Evidence Reveals Mercury Contamination Regularly Exceeds Health Advisory Levels in Humans and Fish Worldwide.
AGENDA for Environment and Responsible Development (AGENDA) organized an “Africa NGO and CSO Chemical Safety Skillshare and Workshop” in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 10 – 12 December, 2012. The workshop involved 42 participants representing 20 NGOs/CSOs from 12 African countries, government representatives and media from Tanzania.
Amongst other things, the workshop developed and endorsed an Africa NGOs/CSOs Mercury Statement in the preparation for INC5 towards a Mercury Treaty. See the statement here.
A Global Mercury Treaty, not a Minamata Convention
IPEN suggests that the pending global mercury treaty not be named the “Minamata Convention.” This is because it appears to us that the new treaty will not likely be sufficient to:
1. Prevent future Minamata tragedies from happening in the world
2. Ensure that victims of future mercury tragedies will not suffer the same fate as the Minamata victims
3. Reverse the current and alarming trend of rising levels of global methyl mercury pollution
IPEN Participating Organizations in action across the globe – view letters to the delegates of the following countries: Algeria | Argentina | Bahrain | Bangladesh | Belarus | Brazil | Cameroon | Canada -1, 2 | Central African Republic | Chad | Chile | China | Côte d’Ivoire | Czech Republic | Democratic Republic of the Congo | Gabon | Egypt | India – 1, 2, 3 | Iraq | Jamaica | Jordan | Kuwait | Lebanon | Lybia | Madagascar | Mexico | Moldova | Morocco | Nepal | New Zealand | Niger | Oman | Qatar | Romania | Russia | Saoudi Arabia | South Africa | Spain | Sri Lanka | Sudan | Tunisia | Uganda |Uruguay | USA | Venezuela | Yemen | EU
Learn more at: Honoring Minamata
IPEN press release: 3 July, 2012
Mercury Treaty Legitimizes Increased Mercury Pollution
(Punta del Este, Uruguay) – Although two-thirds of delegates engaged in international negotiations for a proposed mercury treaty support language that would help protect human health and the environment, a small group of developed countries appears to oppose public actions to prevent and reduce exposure to mercury
“We are deeply concerned that, with current text, the treaty may actually legitimize increased global mercury releases to protect short-term economic interests. The price tag may appear to be “cheap,” but the cost of inaction on mercury pollution will be huge,” said Joe DiGangi, IPEN Scientific and Technical Advisor.
Learn more about all of IPEN’s actions at the INC4 here.
26- 06- 2012
Numerous representatives from IPEN Participating Organizations arrived in Punta del Este, Uruguay this week to participate in the Fourth International Negotiating Committee (INC4) for a Global Treaty on Mercury.
On the first day of the meeting, IPEN prepared a joint press release with the Global Indigenous Peoples Caucus voicing concerns that the international treaty negotiations are likely to fall short of goals and have the potential to increase – not reduce – mercury emissions.
Read the press release and learn more about IPEN’s actions at the INC4 here.
IPEN releases new document: IPEN Thoughts about Preparing for INC4
IPEN would like to share some thoughts and observations as delegates prepare for the 4th Inter-governmental Negotiating Committee to prepare a global legally binding instrument on mercury (INC4). The treaty negotiation is occurring against a backdrop of rapidly increasing mercury levels. Scientists note that mercury levels in the Pacific Ocean have increased by 30% over the last 20 years and if no measures are taken, mercury levels will rise by 50% in the next few decades. In fact, without measures to reverse this trend, scientists estimate that the Pacific Ocean will be twice as contaminated with mercury in 2050 as in 1995. This will adversely affect mercury content in fish, a primary source of human exposure. While some progress was made at INC3, weak measures on important treaty elements along with the complete stalemate on emissions and financial considerations raise concerns about whether the treaty will affect the rising trend in mercury levels. Without authentic action to address mercury sources the treaty may actually legitimize the rising emissions while failing to protect human health and the environment.
IPEN signs on to statement delivered to the Japanese Government.
Citizens Against Chemicals Pollution, along with Minamata Disease Victims Mutual Aid Society and Green Action, sent a joint statement to the Japanese Government highlighting the need to incorporate the lessons learned from Minamata into the International Mercury Treaty. This statement, submitted in January, 2012, was signed by 486 organizations and individuals from around the world.
On 5 November, at the Mercury INC3 in Nairobi, IPEN released a press release highlighting the True Cost of Mercury:
UN Delegates Struggle with the True Cost of Mercury (Nairobi, Kenya).
Delegates from more than 120 countries struggled to move forward on a
global mercury treaty. Narrow cost considerations seemed to prevail over comprehensive
obligatory provisions that fully protect human health and the environment from the toxic metal. Mercury can permanently damage the brain and kidneys and has been shown to affect a developing fetus, even months after the mother’s exposure.
Please read the entire press release here.
Please find a list of IPEN interventions presented at INC3 under “Treaty negotiations” – “INC3″ section (scroll to bottom of page).
IPEN Participating organizations are currently present at the 3rd International Negotiating Committee (INC3) meeting for a global mercury treaty, which is taking place in Nairobi, Kenya from 31 October – 4 November, 2011.
Please see IPEN’s press release from 31st October 2011:
UN delegates tackle the true cost of gold (Nairobi, Kenya)
High gold prices vs. child labor and toxic contaminated sites
Delegates from more than 120 countries are being reminded of the true cost of gold
mining on the first day of a meeting to negotiate a global mercury treaty. Discussions focused on smallscale mining since it is the largest deliberate use of mercury.
While delegates debated mercury control and economic benefits of the activity, civil society
representatives and Indigenous Peoples distributed postcards with chocolate gold coins asking, “What is the true price of gold?” The card cited data from the International Labour Organisation stating that in Africa, children under the age of 18 may constitute up to 30%-50% of the entire small-scale gold mining workforce.
In parallel to the press release, civil society representatives and Indigenous Peoples distributed postcards with chocolate gold coins asking, “What is the true price of gold?” The card cited data from the International Labour Organisation stating that in Africa, children under the age of 18 may constitute up to 30%-50% of the entire small-scale gold mining workforce.