For several years there has been ongoing discussion about setting limit values for the definition of POPs waste, which is waste containing dangerous levels of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). This means determining the levels of POPs in wastes above which the waste is considered to be in certain way hazardous (according to its content of POPs).
Policy and Legislation
Albanian NGO ‘EDEN Center’ (Environmental Center for Development Education and Networking) approached this project from the ambitious angle of awareness-raising on mercury pollution and the Mercury Treaty through youth networks, media and especially social media. EDEN produced a mini-documentary canvassing the views of ordinary Albanians in the city of Tirana, gauging their awareness level of mercury pollution and disseminating information to help inform the public of this hazardous pollutant and global attempts to control its distribution and use through the Treaty process.
The mercury hotspot and mercury waste study in the artisanal gold mining location in the Benue National Park in Cameroon, conducted by the NGO COPRESSA, has identified that primary mercury mining in the form of cinnabar and mercuric chloride takes place at the mining camps in the study area. However, elemental mercury is not often used for amalgamation at the mining camps, but trading in elemental mercury is conducted by gold traders in the larger towns nearby.
This IMEAP project by IndyACT, an environmental NGO based in Lebanon, describes the extensive awareness-raising activities undertaken by the organisation to facilitate the rapid ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. IndyACT held civil society workshops, engaged with high level government officials and generated extensive media activities to promote ratification of the Mercury Treaty.
The project undertaken by Alter Vida was implemented in Asunción, the capital city of Paraguay, with the objective to raise awareness about mercury releases from energy saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and fluorescent tubes, and to promote the ratification of the Minamata Convention.
This project details the IMEAP activities of the Russian environmental NGO ‘DRONT’ in collaboration with IPEN’s Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central American (EECCA) Hub ‘Eco-Accord’ and another Russian NGO ‘SPES’ (see separate IMEAP report for parallel activities undertaken by SPES on mercury pollution from contaminated sites in the Nizegorodsky district of Russia). DRONT focused their activities on pollution created by used (‘burnt out’ or discarded) compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) that contain mercury, and on improving awareness of the health implications of this waste.
This project conducted by Volgograd-Ecopress investigated mercury contamination hotspots emanating from the historical Sakhalin primary mercury mining site and impacting on surrounding water bodies and towns. Mercury intoxication of civilian workers led to prisoners working the mine until the underground and open cast operations ceased in the mid 1990’s. Since then a large scale secondary mercury recovery operation has occupied the former mine site extracting commercial grade mercury from up to 10,000 tonnes of waste a year.
Jordanian NGO Land and Human to Advocate Progress (LHAP) conducted a range of mercury monitoring and awareness-raising activities to sensitize the public and key stakeholders to the dangers of mercury pollution and the need to ratify the Mercury Treaty. The activities were conducted within the overall framework of a development of an initial Country Mercury Situation Report to help inform the national enabling activities process in the lead-up to ratification.
This project report by Serbian NGO ALHem provides data and research into critical mercury pollution issues in Serbia as well as key policy and legislative framework gaps that must be addressed to move towards ratification of the Mercury Treaty. The report includes revelations about mercury contamination resulting from the NATO bombing of a mercury cell chlor-alkali plant in 1999 and the urgent need for remediation of the hotspot and environmental monitoring.
This report by Pro-biodiversity Conservationists in Uganda (PROBICOU) describes a project carried out in the capital city of Kampala. The main objective of the project was to raise public awareness about the Minamata Convention on Mercury as well as on general mercury pollution. The project successfully convened a joint stakeholder dialogue for technocrats from the sectors of mining, health, environment, water and industry, as well as Members of Parliament and representatives from civil society, to raise awareness on mercury pollution and the need to accelerate Treaty ratification.