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).
UN Conventions Instruments
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 comprehensive project by NGO Balifokus (Indonesia) documents a field-based investigation by Balifokus personnel and medical experts into the health impacts of mercury exposure on ASGM miners, their families and communities in selected communities of Indonesia. The project report documents the involvement of over 1 million Indonesians in the practice of artisanal small scale gold mining (ASGM) and reveals the growing activity of primary mercury mining that is emerging in parts of Indonesia.
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 projects bythe Russian environmental NGO ‘SPES,’ in collaboration with IPEN EECCA Hub ‘Eco-Accord’ and another Russia NGO ‘DRONT’ (see separate IMEAP report for parallel activities undertaken by DRONT on mercury from used fluorescent lamps), focuses on investigation of and awareness-raising about the mercury pollution sources in the Nizegorodsky district of Russia and on starting a broad outreach campaign on mercury pollution sources and mercury health risks thro
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 by Arnika Association, entitled 'Impact of heavy metals from Balkan power plants on inhabitants and the environment', focuses on the presentation and discussion of data related to contamination by heavy metals at selected locations in the Balkans. Sampling teams conducted monitoring in the field to obtain data about the impacts of coal fired power plants from emissions and releases (including ash ponds and dumps). The sampled sites were located in Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia.
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.