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Mercury Storage Project. Desiree M. Narvaez Mercury and other metals programme United Nations Environment Programme. Mercury is an element…. …cannot be broken down, degraded, destroyed toxic and volatile poses unique environmental management challenges

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mercury storage project

Mercury Storage Project

Desiree M. Narvaez

Mercury and other metals programme

United Nations Environment Programme

mercury is an element
Mercury is an element…
  • …cannot be broken down, degraded, destroyed
  • toxic and volatile
  • poses unique environmental management challenges
  • require different approaches from those used of other toxic chemicals and waste
mandates for mercury work
Mandates for mercury work
  • 2001 – UNEP GC initiated global assessment of mercury
  • 2003 – UNEP GC decision 22/4 V
    • Decided that national, regional and global actions, both immediate and long-term should be initiated ASAP
    • Urged all countries to adopt goals and take actions with the objective of identifying exposed populations and ecosystems, and reducing anthropogenic mercury releases
gc 23 9 strengthened the unep mercury programme
GC 23/9 : Strengthened the UNEP Mercury Programme
  • Reiterated the conclusions of the GMA report on the global adverse impacts of Hg on health and environment
  • Requested a report on the supply, trade and demand for mercury on the global market, and
  • Called for partnerships between Governments and other stakeholders as one approach to reducing risks to human health and the environment from the release of mercury and its compounds to the environment.
gc decision 24 3
GC Decision 24/3
  • Recognised that current efforts to reduce risks from mercury are not sufficient to address the global challenges posed by mercury
  • The options of enhanced voluntary measures and new or existing legally binding instruments will be reviewed
  • Identified 7 priorities including
  • To find environmentally sound storage solutions of mercury
gc decision 25
GC Decision 25
  • Requests the Executive Director to convene an intergovernmental negotiating committee with the mandate to prepare a global legally binding instrument on mercury, commencing its work in 2010 with the goal of completing it prior to the twenty seventh regular session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum in 2013; OEWG second half of 2009
  • Also requests the Executive Director… to continue and enhance, as part of the international action on mercury, the existing work, in the following areas:

(a) Enhancing capacity for mercury storage

need for long term safe mercury storage
Need for long term safe mercury storage
  • Decommissioned chlor alkali cells
  • Mercury by product from mining (e.g.non-ferrous metal mining such as zinc smelting)
  • End of life mercury containing products

Objective: prevent reentry to the global market

Repository and terminal storage facility

-Isolate the mercury indefinitely

-current initiatives in EU and US

mercury by product from mining
Mercury by product from mining
  • non-ferrous metal mining such as zinc smelting
project components
Project components:
  • Estimation of projected mercury surplus
  • Options to establish a safe long term storage facility and criteria for selection of options:costs and benefits, social and political acceptability, technical and environmental factors, public health, infrastructure and regulatory requirements)
  • Creation of a regional advisory group: represented by an Executive Committee- catalyze action, recommend appropriate legislation/policies consistent with the establishment of a long term storage terminal facility
project components1
Project components:
  • Development of feasibility study and analysis ofoptions: (within 10 months following the inception workshop)- include recommendations on the most suitable option
  • National and regional consultations
  • Call for specific proposals- detailed basis for site selection; detailed proposal on the design, costs/financing options, other requirements for the facility, site specific assessments, possible funding source
project expected output
Project Expected Output
  • Quantification/Estimation of surplus mercury
  • Options to be provided to governments
  • Creation of a Regional support structure/ Executive Committee-policy guidance
  • Feasibility study and analysis of options for a terminal storage facility
  • Recommendation on most feasible and preferred option
  • Call for specific proposals to include detailed basis for site selection, site specific assessments, design of facility, possible funding facility construction
project institutional arrangements
Project Institutional Arrangements
  • Regional advisory/executive committee-(Governments, civil society, industry) steering role: analyze options and provide policy recommendations to Governments
  • UNEP regional offices- will be kept informed of progress
  • UNEP Chemicals Mercury Programme- overall project coordinator (planning, oversee implementation, monitoring and evaluation)
further information on unep mercury programme
Further information on UNEP Mercury Programme

http://www.chem.unep.ch/mercury/

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