Sculpture "Pez-Peste" by Nicholas Garcia Uriburu, Argentina

Highlights and images for 3 November 2021

Minamata Convention on Mercury

Despite technical delays, delegates to the virtual segment of the Fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-4.1) successfully started consideration of all outstanding issues on their agenda for this week.

Reginald Hernaus (the Netherlands), Co-Chair of the contact group on the 2022 Programme of Work and Budget, reported on the group’s discussions on Tuesday 2 November. He noted good progress on the issues considered and said discussions will continue, focusing on, inter alia, the effectiveness evaluation, Special Trust Fund and budget implications of COP-4.2. COP-4 President Rosa Vivien Ratnawati (Indonesia) commended the contact group on their progress.

On national reporting, the Secretariat introduced draft guidance for completing the national reporting format for the Convention. She explained that the guidance will not be finalized until the in-person segment of COP-4 (COP-4.2) in March 2022 and proposed that parties may decide to use it to support submission of their first long-form national reports, due by 31 December 2021. Many parties commended the high-rate of compliance (89%) with the 2019 deadline for the first short-form national reports. The Secretariat’s “Minamata Online” suite of online webinars was highlighted by several parties as supporting their efforts to finalize their reports by the end of the year.

On the financial mechanism, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) reported on the ongoing negotiations for its Eighth Replenishment (GEF-8), which are due to conclude prior to COP-4.2. In the ensuing discussion, many underscored the importance of GEF support for meeting the Convention’s legally-binding commitments with near-term deadlines. Several noted that the current allocation of 15% of GEF funding to the chemicals and waste window is insufficient.

At the close of plenary, COP-4 President Ratnawati explained that the discussion of the GEF Replenishment will continue when plenary resumes on Friday, 5 November. She reminded the contact group of the importance of completing their work by the end of their allotted time on Thursday, in order to ensure that documents can be prepared for consideration and adoption at Friday’s plenary meeting.

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ENB images are free for use with attribution. For the 4th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-4), please use Photo by IISD/ENB Angeles Estrada