The Indigenous Peoples Platform of the Minamata Convention on Mercury aims to bring together Indigenous voices to promote the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples in the work of the Minamata Convention to put an end to mercury pollution.
In March 2022, the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-4) called upon parties to engage indigenous peoples, local communities and other relevant stakeholders in the development and implementation of national action plans to tackle the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM). COP-4 also requested the secretariat to compile views on the needs and priorities of indigenous peoples and local communities with regard to the use of mercury in ASGM.
COP-4 also requested the secretariat to continue to raise awareness and gather knowledge on the interlinkages between mercury pollution, biodiversity and climate change and tasked with the development of a report on how the Minamata Convention can contribute to the Global Biodiversity Framework, which is expected to be adopted at the Biodiversity COP-15 to be held in Montreal, Canada, in December 2022.
ASGM is the single biggest source of emissions and releases of mercury into the environment. Mercury used in ASGM directly impacts the health, livelihoods and culture of Indigenous Peoples who are engaged in the mining or who live near ASGM sites.
Even Indigenous Peoples who live far away from ASGM sites are also disproportionately impacted by mercury pollution due to their intertwined connection with nature and a diet that relies mostly on fish and other aquatic animals known to accumulate high levels of mercury.
The Indigenous Peoples Platform of the Minamata Convention on Mercury is being created to facilitate the engagement of Indigenous Peoples in the above-mentioned processes and other relevant work of the Minamata Convention. The Platform is meant as an open and inclusive space to bring together the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples and to promote the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples in the work of the Minamata Convention.