Guyana to serve on bureau for Minamata Convention conference

Members of the Guyanese delegation: From left in the front row are Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Guyana to the United Nations Office and other International Organisations at Geneva Dr. John Ford, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman and Ministry of Natural Resources Project Officer Mariscia Charles. From left in the second row are Guyana Geology and Mines Commission representative Carlos Todd and Environmental Protection Agency representative Felicia Adams-Kellman. (Ministry of Natural Resources photo)

Guyana has been nominated to serve on the Bureau of the Conference of Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury 3 (COP 3) and Ministry of Natural Resources Project Officer Marisica Charles has been elected as one of the two Vice-Presidents from the Group of Latin America and Caribbean countries (GRULAC), the Ministry of Natural Resources has announced.

In a statement issued yesterday, the ministry said these developments, which took place at the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Conference on Mercury 2 (COP2), are in recognition of the strides that Guyana has made in implementing the Convention.

The ministry said Charles and Del Mar Solano, of Costa Rica are the GRULAC’s representatives.

The Bureau members are tasked to represent their regions and individual countries and parties’ interest as it relates to the implementation of the Minamata Convention.

COP 3 will take place in Geneva, Switzerland in November, 2019.

The COP 2 conference, which ran from November 19th to November 22nd in Geneva, saw in attendance a five-member delegation from Guyana comprising of the Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Guyana to the United Nations and Office and Other International Organisations at Geneva Dr. John Ford and representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Over the five-day period, the delegation participated in the Plenary and Contact Group discussions for the adoption of articles and agenda items aimed towards the phased and total elimination of the use of mercury in all activities and specifically for Guyana in the Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sector.

The ministry said Guyana signed and ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury in October, 2013 and September, 2014, respectively. The Convention is an international treaty designed to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and its compounds. It came into force August 2017.  At the COP 1, held in September, 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland, President David Granger affirmed Guyana’s position and commitment to the elimination of the use of mercury by 2027.

The ministry added that a National Working Group has been reconstituted as of August, 2018 and has been reviewing the draft National Action Plan, with stakeholders giving comments and inputs on how it can be completed.

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