Mercury is a highly toxic element which is considered a major public health concern by the World Health Organisation. The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a multilateral environmental agreement which was created to protect human health & environment from the negative effects of mercury. The Convention came into effect on August 16, 2017.
Parties to the Convention are obligated to phase-out the use of certain mercury-added products by 2020, to implement measures to reduce the emissions & releases of mercury and mercury compounds from products and processes, and to provide environmentally sound management options for storage and disposal of mercury and mercury waste.
Dominica is not yet a Party to the Convention; however, the Government is considering acceding to it. The Government of Dominica, through the Dominica Bureau of Standards, is participating in the above captioned project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Technical assistance for the project is being provided by the UN Environment - the implementing agency, and the BCRC-Caribbean - the regional project execution agency. The Minamata Initial Assessment (MIA) Project commenced in September 2017 & will be completed in September 2019.
It is an enabling activity that aims to strengthen national decision-making and build capacity toward the ratification and implementation of the Minamata Convention and its obligations by:
· Assessing the institutional and regulatory frameworks and national capacities on mercury management;
· Conducting a national inventory of mercury sources and releases;
· Developing strategies for the identification of mercury contaminated sites;
· Assessing the challenges, needs and opportunities to implement the Minamata Convention and developing recommendations to implement the Convention; and
· Identifying and implementing effective national awareness-raising and communication outreach strategies.
The National Results Validation Workshop is being held to present the results and findings of the MIA Project in Dominica. Key national stakeholders discussions will also be held regarding the development of materials, to raise public awareness and recommendations for the national ratification and implementation of the Minamata Convention.