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13 Nov 2017

International mercury management projects to be launched in Belarus

MINSK, 13 November (BelTA) – The international technical assistance projects “Ratification and early implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury” and “Development of Minamata Convention on Mercury Initial Assessment in Belarus” will be carried out in Belarus, Deputy Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Alexander Korbut noted at an introductory seminar on the two projects, BelTA has learned.

“In 2014, Belarus signed the Minamata Convention on Mercury. This was an essential step showing that our country pays great attention to this problem and takes measures to prevent the negative impact of mercury on the environment and human health. The next steps are the ratification and early implementation of the convention in Belarus. The international technical assistance projects are meant to meet these goals,” Alexander Korbut said.

Claude Altermatt, Head of the Office of the Embassy of Switzerland in Minsk, pointed out that the Minamata Convention on Mercury came into effect in August 2017. It has been ratified by over 50 countries so far. “We hope that Belarus will join their ranks soon,” the diplomat added.

“The result of the implementation of the international technical assistance projects in Belarus will be an assessment of the current situation in mercury management in Belarus. We should evaluate the consequences and advantages of ratifying the Minamata Convention on Mercury and define the key lines of action towards putting the convention into practice. This will hone the mercury management system in Belarus and mitigate the negative environmental impact of mercury,” remarked Olga Volkova, Deputy Chairperson of the public association Environmental Initiative.

The international technical assistance projects “Ratification and early implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury” and “Development of Minamata Convention on Mercury Initial Assessment in Belarus” are to be carried out within two years and a half by the public association Environmental Initiative.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to regulate the anthropogenic emissions of mercury and mercury compounds. The document regulates all the fields where mercury can possibly accumulate, including its supplies, extraction, the manufacturing of mercury-added products, emissions into the atmosphere, the dumping of mercury-containing waste into water facilities, and waste management.

 

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