Highlights and images for 24 March 2022

Bali, Indonesia

Minamata Convention on Mercury

Make Mercury History pins

As the fourth day of Minamata COP-4.2 took place, delegates worked hard to 'make mercury history'

On its fourth day, after hearing progress reports from the four contact groups, COP-4.2 devoted its morning plenary to addressing capacity building, technical assistance and technology transfer, mainstreaming gender in Convention activities, cooperation between the Minamata Secretariat and the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS), and international cooperation and coordination on mercury issues. It also adopted the report of the Credentials Committee and considered draft decisions on national reporting, the updated guidance on preparing national action plans on mercury use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), and the terms of reference (ToR) for the second review of the financial mechanism.

To dive deeper, read the full Earth Negotiations Bulletin daily report.

In its afternoon session, the plenary finished discussion on international coordination/cooperation. Contact groups met throughout the day trying to complete negotiations in decision texts.

Matters for Consideration or Action by COP-4

On capacity building, technical assistance and technology transfer, the Secretariat introduced its report and information submitted by parties. Many parties expressed support for a decision.

The plenary considered a draft proposal on cooperation between the Minamata Secretariat and BRS Secretariat by many parties. Chile, Mali and Pakistan expressed support. Several parties suggested additions or amendments. The Secretariat was asked, after consulting parties proposing changes, to present an amended decision text.

The Secretariat presented a draft decision accompanied by a draft roadmap listing priority actions to be undertaken by the Secretariat to ensure that principles of gender equality are firmly embedded in the activities, projects and programmes it undertakes. The plenary sent the draft decision to the Programme of Work (POW) and Budget Contact Group for review.

On ASGM, in the morning Brazil requested further consultations on revising the proposed decision. A revised text was reviewed in the afternoon and forwarded to the POW and Budget Contact Group for review.

In reviewing the draft decision on the second review of the financial mechanism, the EU offered further amendments of the ToR; these will be reflected in a revised draft decision.

The plenary considered a draft decision on national reporting and forwarded it to the POW and Budget Contact Group for review.

International Cooperation and Coordination

The Secretariat provided its overview and several joint studies and reports on interlinkages between the chemicals and waste agreements and the potential for coordinated action. The Global Mercury Partnership, UN Environment Programme, and World Health Organization provided updates on their mercury-related work. The BRS Secretariat reported on areas of existing cooperation between the Minamata and BRS secretariats.

Switzerland proposed text welcoming resolutions of the Fifth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) on the sound management of chemicals and waste, and on a science-policy panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution. The proposed text requests the Secretariat to contribute to implementation as appropriate. Brazil, the EU and Norway supported the proposal. The EU called for further work as to how the Minamata Convention can contribute to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

The draft decision, as amended in plenary, was forwarded to the POW and Budget Contact Group for review.

Delegates speak informally between sessions

Delegates speak informally between sessions

Contact Groups

The Annexes A and B Contact Group reported progress on most mercury-added product listing proposals. They also reported further work was needed on a phaseout date for polyurethane. For processes in part 2 of Annex B, the group agreed to request the Secretariat to consult with parties intersessionally about economically and technically feasible alternatives and prepare a short report for consideration by COP-5. In afternoon work, the group considered a compromise proposal by the African Group and the EU regarding dental amalgam.

The co-chairs of the Waste Threshold Contact Group reported that agreement on a single threshold at COP-4.2 appears unlikely. President Ratnawati asked them to draft a mandate for intersessional work for plenary consideration.

The Effectiveness Evaluation Contact Group met throughout the day. The group agreed on including language regarding human health impacts in evaluations. It also emphasized that the proposed scientific group should consider national circumstances, capabilities, and capacities as well as regional variations, and differences in environmental conditions, and demographic characteristics across parties and regions when conducting its evaluation. A major point of discussion concerned potential budget implications of the wish of some parties to meet in-person for an undetermined number of times during intersessional periods. 

Fourth day of the Minamata Convention on Mercury COP 4.2 (24 March 2022)

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All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For Minamata COP-4.2, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB Kiara Worth.