Thematic sessions will be organized during lunch times from 25 to 27 September 2017.
The thematic sessions on Land (Monday, 25 September), Air (Tuesday, 26 September) and Water (Wednesday, 27 September), will each delve deeper into mercury emissions and releases, the transport of mercury between land, air and water, and the potential for exposure to humans, fish and animal life throughout this journey. The sessions will look at how coordinated implementation of the obligations of the Convention will address the risks of mercury to human health and our environment. The outcomes of each thematic session and its key messages will be transmitted to the High Level Segment Ministerial Roundtables, to be held on Thursday, 28 September, as background for the Ministers’ discussions where the three topics will be discussed at each table.
At each thematic session a moderator will call on selected speakers to highlight key issues, opportunities and challenges in the implementation of the Minamata Convention as relevant to land, air and water respectively. This will be followed by an interactive discussion to consider national contexts and shared concerns, as well as possible solutions and approaches.
Thematic session on Land: Monday, 25 September
Beginning with the uses of mercury, this session looks specifically at how the provisions of the Minamata Convention will help to bring about cleaner technologies for artisanal and small-scale gold mining, environmentally sound approaches to mercury waste, options for managing contaminated sites, and possibilities for moving away from the use of mercury in products and processes.
Thematic session on Air: Tuesday, 26 September
With coal burning as the major source of mercury emissions to air, this session focuses on the use of alternative technologies and improved pollution controls across a range of industries, also looking at enhanced combustion efficiency and best practices to reduce emissions under different national conditions. The discussion will also look at emissions from other sources, and further at how to address procedures for measuring mercury in air and the challenges of monitoring in a range of circumstances.
Thematic session on Water: Wednesday, 27 September
Water and the aquatic environment are the transformation path and reservoir of mercury released and emitted from various sources. Bioaccumulation through the food chain and biomagnification are a major source of adverse human health effects from mercury, primarily through the consumption of contaminated fish. This session will examine how measures to reduce and control emissions and releases of mercury that end up in water bodies can relieve the environment of its mercury burden and decrease human exposure to mercury.