Parties took several important steps toward meeting their obligations under the Convention. They agreed on the regional membership of the effectiveness evaluation group, which will report back to COP-7 on the effectiveness of the Convention. They also adopted a package of indicators that will guide the evaluation.
They also adopted a decision on artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), whereby they seek to engage with Indigenous Peoples and local communities in decision-making processes regarding ASGM, protect and strengthen traditional livelihoods and cultural practices, and work with them with regard to their needs and priorities in relation to the use of mercury in ASGM.
While long discussions took place regarding a decision on mercury supply sources and trade, parties did adopt a decision to conduct a study on the global supply, trade, production and use of mercury compounds.
They agreed to invite the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD COP) to consider additional indicators to cover highly hazardous chemicals and mercury under Target 7 of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
In parallel with the plenary, the contact group on amendments of the Convention Annexes agreed to set 2026 as the phaseout date for linear fluorescent lamps for general lighting purposes. On cosmetics, they agreed on the language of a draft decision on gathering information about the challenges in preventing the manufacture, import, and export of cosmetics with mercury added, to inform COP-6 discussions. On dental amalgam, the group was unable to agree on phaseout, but did agree to require parties to submit national action plans or reports on progress made in phasing out or phasing down dental amalgam.
The contact group on waste thresholds agreed on a threshold value of 15 mg/kg total concentration of mercury in wastes contaminated with mercury. They also agreed on a clause allowing a party not to follow the value if they document an alternative approach that protects human health and the environment and notify the Secretariat. The Secretariat would keep a public register of such information.
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All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For the 5th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB | Natalia Mroz.