COP-4 Minamata Convention on Mercury

In the Conference of Parties (COP-4) Minamata Convention on Mercury, the participating parties have agreed to expand the mercury-added products list that has been planned to be phased out.

Overview:

  • The COP-4 Minamata Convention on Mercury, took place in Bali, Indonesia from 21st to 25th March 2022.
  • This convention resumed after the conclusion of the first online segment which was held in November 2021.
  • The COP-4 convention covered several crucial topics, like the framework to evaluate the Convention’s effectiveness.
  • Annex A and B that contain information related to all mercury-added products, and their manufacturing processes were also reviewed.
  • Nine decisions were adopted at this convention.
  • The implementation of national reporting, international cooperation, artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), technical assistance, capacity building, mercury waste thresholds, and releases of mercury are also on schedule.
  • Efforts to mainstream gender under all projects, activities, and programs were also focused upon.
  • The development of a gender action plan was also discussed.
  • Also, during this meeting multilateralism and international cooperation were also reinforced.
  • It was also decided to tackle the challenges of biodiversity loss, climate change, and waste and pollution.

Aim of the Minamata Convention

This convention aims to protect the environment and human health from the release of mercury, and anthropogenic emissions.

Phasing out of mercury-added products

In this convention, the phasing out of eight mercury-added products like cold cathode fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps, paper, photograph film, and propellant for satellites was listed. The dental amalgam phase-down has also benefitted substantially after two additional measures were added to protect the vulnerable populations against mercury use by dental practitioners in bulk form.

Bali Declaration

The “Bali Declaration on Combatting Global Illegal Trade of Mercury” was also presented by the host nation. This political declaration of non-binding nature aims to develop practical tools and enhance international cooperation to share and monitor information, practices, and experiences to combat the illegal mercury trade.

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