The Minamata Convention is an International Treaty designed to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds. The text of the Convention was signed on January 19, 2013, in Geneva and adopted later that year on October 10, 2013, in Kumamoto, Japan. It is expected that over the next few decades, this international agreement will enhance the reduction of mercury pollution from the targeted activities responsible for the major release of mercury to the immediate environment.
The Government of Guyana (GoG) signed the Minamata Convention on October 10, 2013. The GoG subsequently ratified on September 24, 2014. The GoG proposed a phase-out approach which would lead to the eventual ban of mercury in Guyana by 2020.
Minamata Initial Assessment Project
Objective: the objective of the project was to undertake a MIA to enable the Government of Guyana to determine the national requirements and needs for the implementation of the Minamata Convention.
Component 1: Enabling environment for decision-making on the implementation of the Minamata Convention
- Establishment of Mercury Coordination Mechanism (MCM)
- Policy and Regulatory Framework Review
- Communication Strategy
Component 2: Development of the National Mercury Profile and Mercury Initial Assessment Report
- Inventory – Trainings & Data Collection
- Development of National Mercury Profile and MIA report
MIA Key Deliverables
- MIA Analysis of Existing National Regulatory Framework.
- National Mercury Profile Report.
- Knowledge Attitudes and Practice (KAP) study – Socio-Economic Analyst for the MIA.
- Communication Strategy and Implementation Plan for Mercury Phase-Out in Guyana.
- Strategies for the Mainstreaming of National Mercury Priority Interventions in national Policies and plans.
- The Minamata Initial Assessment Report.
The MIA provided the baseline information which will now inform a National Action Plan (NAP). The Ministry of Natural Resources is looking to commence the limitations as well as recommendations of the Minamata Initial Assessment through a National Action Plan (NAP), which essentially means that the Government of Guyana will start reducing the importations of Mercury from 2018.
Conservation International (CI) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are in the process of designing project proposals to assist Government of Guyana in the implementation of the Minamata Convention.