An international conference organized by the United Nations Environment Program (UNDP) on 10 October 2013 adopted the Minamata Convention in Kumamoto, Japan. The convention was adopted by 140 countries across the world.
The main objective of the Minamata Convention on Mercury is to protect the human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.
According to the convention each party shall not allow, by taking appropriate measures, the manufacture, import or export of mercury-added products after the phaseout date of 2020.
The Minamata Convention will take effect 90 days after ratification by 50 nations.
The Minamata Convention regulates the following areas
• Global mining and trade of mercury
• The manufacturing of products containing the Mercury
• The use of mercury in products and industrial processes
• Measures to be taken to reduce emissions from artisanal and small-scale gold mining
• Measures to be taken to reduce emissions from power plants and metals production facilities
Sources of emissions of mercury and mercury compounds to the atmosphere
• Coal-fired power plants
• Coal-fired industrial boilers
• Smelting and roasting processes used in the production of non-ferrous metals
• Waste incineration facilities
• Cement clinker product