Strengthening Capacities for Mercury Management: Report on Study Tour in Minamata & Kitakyushu

Briefing Note

The Minamata Convention on Mercury was adopted at the conference held in Kumamoto City and Minamata City in October 2013. The convention aims to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions/releases of mercury and mercury compounds and stipulates appropriate management and reduction of the emissions through the entire lifecycle of mercury including mining, use in products and manufacturing processes, emission to atmosphere, disposal as waste1. The Minamata Convention on Mercury entered into force on August 16th 2017 with ratification by over 50 countries and the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP1) was held in September 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.
While the Philippines is among the 128 signatory countries to the Minamata Convention in 2013, the country has yet to ratify the international agreement. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Swiss Government have been supporting the Philippines government promoting ratification and early implementation of the Minamata Convention on mercury, especially for appropriate management of Mercury-added Products (MAPs) and wastes containing mercury. This UNIDO project assists the Philippine government to prepare a national action plan (NAP) for the phase-out of MAPs in accordance with the Convention. To facilitate efficient preparation of the NAP, the project also conducts capacity building activities such as a learning visit to Minamata City to further strengthen the development of the action plans.
This study tour, organised in collaboration with UNIDO and IGES, was designed for key stakeholders in the Philippines in the area of mercury management to learn rich resources of Minamata City on mercury management in comprehensive manner, and so the delegates were expected to discuss and develop a sustainable way to continue such learning activities.

Melissa May
F. Cardenas