The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty that aims to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic (human-caused) emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds to the environment.
As a highly toxic chemical element, mercury is considered one of the top ten (10) chemicals of major public health concern according to the World Health Organisation. Mercury is a naturally occurring element in the Earth’s crust, and although various natural processes contribute to the release of mercury, the anthropogenic causes are the source of utmost concern. Human activities such as mining, combustion, production of metal from ores, the intentional use of mercury in products and processes and the re-mobilization of previous mercury releases have led to an increase in the mobilization of mercury into the environment.
In the Caribbean region, many countries are taking steps to protect human health and the environment from mercury and as of November 2018, the following countries in the Caribbean Region are Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury:
Antigua and Barbuda
The Republic of Cuba
The Dominican Republic
The Republic of Guyana
Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
The Republic of Suriname
Other Caribbean countries are also conducting activities to assess the implications of becoming Party to the Minamata Convention. The BCRC-Caribbean aims to assist countries in their efforts to ratify/implement the Minamata Convention through the execution and facilitation of project-based activities and the dissemination of information.
Development of National Action Plan for Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) in The Co-operative Republic of Guyana
The Inception Workshop and Field Visits were held from November 5th - 9th 2019, hosted by the BCRC-Caribbean and the Ministry of Natural Resources.
The aim of the workshop was to introduce the project to the key stakeholders and provide training to the national consultants hired under the project. This training was facilitated by International Consultants Mutemeri Consulting. The core project team, including the national consultants, then visited select sites in Bartica and Puruni to facilitate the field training.