The international Community, concerned about the Environmental and human health risks derived from the use of mercury and mercury exposure, has firmly committed to reduce mercury in society by limiting the supply and demand but also deepening in a better understanding of the mercury problem and its management solutions, analyzing the safe storage of mercury surplus, among others issues.
In the Decision 24/3 adopted by the twenty-fourth session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum on 9 February 2007, the GC established mercury supply reduction as a global priority, and urged governments “to gather information on the options and solutions for the long-term storage of mercury".
In the Decision 25/5 of 20th February of 2009, GC/UNEP created an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) responsible of the elaboration of a global legally binding instrument on mercury. The First Period of Sessions of the Committee was held in Stockholm, Sweden (June 2010), the Second in Chiba, Japan (January 2011) and the third one in Nairobi, Kenya (November 2011). This decision 25/5, likewise calls to continue and enhance capacity for mercury storage.
Along these Intergovernmental Negotiating Committees, the search of technical and environmentally viable solutions for the management and safe storage of mercury has been stressed.
Alongside the coming years, the management of relevant quantities of mercury will be necessary (metallic mercury and/or mercury-containing products or wastes), along with the identification and determination of the most appropriate solutions, for each case, for its elimination or safe and environmentally permanent storage. In this sense, communication and diffusion are of mayor importance to disseminate and increase the knowledge about new technological developments.
Workshop description and objectives
The Workshop on mercury management in the Latin American and Caribbean Region is planned within the framework of activities proposed for the Supply and Storage Partnership Area of the Global Mercury Partnership (UNEP). The workshop is organized by the Government of Spain (Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Affairs and the National Technological Centre for Mercury Decontamination, NTCMD, Almaden, Spain), with the valuable collaboration of the Governments of Uruguay and Brazil.
This workshop intends, as main objectives, to:
Address situation and difficulties for the management of mercury in the Latin American and Caribbean Region (LAC), analyzing possible environmentally sound solutions.
Involve institutions and industries from LAC and other regions in the Workshop to allow them sharing their knowledge and management view, especially those industrial sectors identified as mercury supply sources.
The workshop itself is a divulgation tool that aims to serve as forum to exchange information about initiatives and experiences planned or carried out, both, in the public and in the private sector.
It is expected that the results of this workshop will be useful for the Latin America and Caribbean Region and contribute to inform the mercury management authorities and experts.
The agenda of the workshop will tentatively include the following items:
1. European legislation on mercury
2. Mercury in the chlor-alkali industry
3. Gold mining as producer of mercury
4. End-of- life mercury-containing articles/products management
5. Mercury management and human health issues
6. Results of the Bi-national Project (Argentina/Uruguay) on mercury storage
7. A case study of remediation in mining/industrial areas: SIG AZOGUE
8. Spanish Technology on Hg stabilisation/microencapsulation. Other technologies
9. Results/ Workshop conclusions. Ideas for next steps forward
LAC governmental representatives and other relevant mercury experts proposed by them are kindly invited to participate.
Subject to availability of places, the workshop would be open to other interested stakeholders or experts in the LAC region; other experts related to the Supply and Storage UNEP mercury partnership area would also be kindly welcome.
Participation and registration will be coordinated by UNEP Chemicals Mercury Programme. Limited funding will be available to support the participation from developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
The Workshop on Mercury management options for the Latin American and Caribbean countries will be held in Spanish and English, with simultaneous interpretation.
: 21-22 May 2012
: Brasilia, Brasil
Please, take note that information regarding the Workshop will be made available at: [ see link ]
Contacts and information
Aitziber Echeverria (Ms.)
Mercury Negotiations Team
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
United Nations Environment Programme
International Environment House, C-209
11-13 Chemin des Anémones CH-1219
Châtelaine-Geneva w Switzerland
(: +41 22 917 8408
María Jesús Romero
GRULAC Workshop Secretariat
Centro Tecnológico Nacional de Descontaminación del Mercurio (CTNDM)
Cerco San Teodoro, s/n 13400 Almadén (Ciudad Real) ESPAÑA