Minamata Convention on Mercury

The Minamata Convention on Mercury aims to “protect the human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.” *1

Mercury is the only metal element that is liquid at room temperature and is highly volatile. It is emitted into the atmosphere from various sources and circulates throughout the globe. Mercury continues to have a presence in our lives, as it is essential in certain uses and products. Moreover, as mercury is a chemical element, it cannot be destroyed. Hence, the Convention embodies the need for the strengthening of global mercury management. The following is a brief overview of the content:

Content

Article

Preamble

Recognizes the risks of mercury and the substantial lessons of Minamata Disease, and sets the background for the Convention

Objective/ Definitions

Objective: to protect human health and environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury

Article 1

Definitions: sets out the definitions of words used in the Convention

Article 2

Supply (production) and trade

Mercury supply sources

Article 3

International trade

Mercury use

Mercury-added products

Article 4

Manufacturing processes in which mercury or mercury compounds are used

Article 5

Exemptions

Article 6

Artisanal and small-scale gold mining

Article 7

Emissions and releases

Emissions

Article 8

Releases

Article 9

Interim storage, waste, contaminated sites

Environmentally sound interim storage of mercury, other than waste mercury

Article 10

Mercury wastes

Article 11

Contaminated sites

Article 12

Financial resources and technology assistance

Financial resources and mechanism

Article 13

Capacity-building, technical assistance and technology transfer

Article 14

Information exchange and research

Health aspects, information exchange, public information, awareness and education, research, development and monitoring, implementation plans, reporting, effectiveness evaluation

Articles 16-22

For the full text of the Convention, see:
http://www.mercuryconvention.org/Portals/11/documents/conventionText/Minamata%20Convention%20on%20Mercury_e.pdf

*1 Article 1 of the Minamata Convention on Mercury

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