EcoWaste to gov’t: Fast track ratification of global treaty on mercury health risks
MANILA, Philippines — Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition on Tuesday urged the government to fast track the ratification of a global treaty aiming to protect the public and the environment from the effects of mercury.
Ecowaste Coalition Chemical Safety Campaigner Thony Dizon said he believes the country is “ready, willing and able” to ratify and implement the provisions of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
“As a matter of fact, our country has already achieved a number of policy and regulatory milestones to control, if not eliminate, mercury pollution from human activities,” Dizon said in a statement.
“We therefore request the Duterte government to ratify the treaty and to secure the necessary concurrence by the Senate,” he added.
According to the group, the treaty provides “a ban on new mercury mines and the phase-out of existing ones, the phase-out and phase-down of mercury use in a number of products and processes, control measures on emissions to air and on releases to land and water, and the regulation of artisanal and small-scale gold mining.”
The Philippine government signed the treaty on Oct. 1, 2013. The treaty, which entered into force on Aug. 16, 2017, has been ratified by 113 countries to date.
The third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury. will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from Nov. 25 to 29.
Dizon said the ratification of the treaty will “strengthen” the country’s efforts to combat mercury pollution, adding that it will allow the government to fully engage in treaty processes as a party to the convention.
“Also, it will allow us to gain more access to financial resources, technology transfer, and capacity-building opportunities,” Dizon said. /muf
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