World marks anniversary of agreement against toxic mercury


In August 2017, one of the world’s most recent environmental accords came into force: The Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Its aim has been to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury, a ubiquitous element that can cause everything from birth defects to kidney disease. It addresses anthropogenic mercury releases through its entire lifecycle: mining, import and export, products and processes, emissions to air, releases to land and water, contaminated sites, waste management, and many others.

This week, the world is celebrating the fourth anniversary of the convention. Since the Minamata Convention on Mercury entered into force in 2017, 132 parties from around the world have been working together to disrupt the trade, raise public awareness, build institutional capacity, and create mercury-free products.

To mark the occasion, and in preparation for the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-4), the secretariat of the convention has launched a new website. It features data, enhanced accessibility and a fresh new look. It relies on a knowledge management platform that is interoperable with other systems, such as the United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (InforMEA). This is expected to better serve the parties of the convention and to inform the public at large about the work undertaken.

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~sUNEP, 16 August 2021