Minamata Convention to Protect PH from Mercury-Laden Products - Cimatu

Manila Bulletin, March 23, 2019 | Go to article overview

Minamata Convention to Protect PH from Mercury-Laden Products - Cimatu


By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

The Philippines will be spared from becoming a "dumping ground" for mercury-containing products once the country ratifies the Minamata Convention--a global treaty that protects human health and environment from mercury emissions.

"Once it ratifies the convention, the Philippines will be protected from being a dumping ground for products containing mercury and will help avoid further risk to the country's aquatic life, where mercury levels have been increasing," Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu said.

The Minamata Convention is the world's first legally binding treaty to phase out mercury, a highly toxic substance that poses threats to the environment and human health.

In 2013, the Philippines was one of the 128 countries that signed the convention, which regulates the use and trade of mercury.

The Philippines has yet to ratify the convention, which entered into force in August 2017.

Through the Minamata Initial Assessment (MIA), the country has outlined the national requirements and needs for the implementation of the Minamata Convention.

MIA was prescribed by the Convention to establish a baseline report, which will help the county prepare in dealing with mercury once the treaty is ratified by the Senate and its provisions are implemented.

According to the MIA report, the primary anthropogenic sources of mercury in the country or those that result from human activities, is the extraction and use of energy sources.

This is followed by the production of primary or virgin metal, which includes mining and gold processing, and the production of other minerals and materials with mercury impurities.

Mercury inventory is one of the important decision-making tools towards mitigating environmental impacts brought about by toxic pollutants such as mercury. …

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