Geneva, 23 September 2017
The eighth meeting of the Global Mercury Partnership Advisory Group (PAG) took place on 22 September 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. Philippe Fonta presented at the meeting as Chairperson representing the Cement-UNEP Partnership.
Since its establishment in 2005, the UN Environment’s Global Mercury Partnership has been facilitating on-the-ground actions to reduce the environmental and health risk of mercury. As of December 2016, the Partnership consists of 161 partners from governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and others. These partners voluntarily cooperate to reduce the environmental and health risk of mercury by working in the following 8 areas:
- Reducing Mercury in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining
- Mercury Reduction in Chlor-alkali
- Mercury Reduction in Products
- Mercury Waste Management
- Mercury Supply and Storage
- Mercury Control from Coal Combustion
- Mercury Releases from Cement Industry
- Air Transport and Fate Research
Over the years, the Partnership has provided technical assistance and capacity building by implementing demonstration projects and providing technical documents and toolkits, as well as awareness raising materials that helped governments take immediate action to reduce mercury pollution. It has built momentum to the development of Minamata Convention on Mercury and provided critical scientific and technical information. After the entry into force of the Convention in August 2017, the Partnership is expected to continue to provide a platform for knowledge management, collaboration, networking and information exchange to assist governments and stakeholders in implementing the Convention.
A Partnership Advisory Group (PAG) was established in 2009 to facilitate the work of the Partnership, and has met annually since then. UN Environment provides Secretariat support to the PAG.
The overall goal of the meeting was to encourage the work of the Partnership by reviewing the activity reports and business plans of the partnership areas, giving strategic guidance on their work, and providing a platform for synergy and collaboration.
Specific objectives of the meeting are:
- Reviewing the progress of the Partnership based on the reports from the partnership areas;
- Developing a strategy of the partnership to assist in implementing the Minamata Convention and addressing sustainability challenges;
- Reviewing and advising on the business plans of the partnership areas; and
- Advising on communication and outreach for the Partnership.
Philippe took the opportunity to update participants on the actions the cement sector is putting in place to manage mercury emissions. Specifically, the CSI has released 2 complementary guidelines for the cement industry, one drafted by UNEP addressed to UN member states and decision makers and one by the CSI addressed to industry: Guidance for reducing and controlling emissions of mercury compounds in the cement industry.
Going forward the Partnership will continue to promote the actions taken at sectoral level and support the implementation of the Minamata Convention.