Minamata Convention, UNSSC launch “Minamata Tools” online learning platform


The Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, in collaboration with the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) and with financial support from the European Union, launches Minamata Tools, a set of interactive training modules designed to explain the Convention and assist in the fight against mercury pollution.

This online learning platform aims to support Parties in meeting their obligations under the Convention. Minamata Tools is targeted primarily at national focal points of the Convention, who are designated by Parties for the exchange of information, but it also offers accessible information and knowledge for both entry-level and experienced officials.

Executive Secretary Monika Stankiewicz stated that “Minamata Tools will help us enhance the training and information surrounding our fight against toxic mercury, a crucial element for the effective implementation of the Convention. This online learning platform aims to further empower national focal points and other officials while also providing key resources to partners everywhere. A cornerstone of our Secretariat’s mandate, we firmly believe that, by providing accessible capacity-building, we are building solid foundations for a healthier, safer planet for all”.

The platform currently offers four modules:

Introduction: exploring the Convention’s purpose, the important role of national focal points, the different reporting obligations, and how to better plan for preparing the National Reports.

Supply sources and trade: covering the provisions related to responsible practices in managing mercury mining, stocks and trade in mercury.

Products and processes: addressing the phase-out of mercury manufacture, import and export in consumer and industrial products, as well as the use of mercury in manufacturing processes.

Emissions: focusing on the provisions and guidance related to controlling and mitigating emissions of mercury and mercury compounds into the atmosphere.

The modules offered through Minamata Tools are available for free and provide a certification upon completion. The online platform is currently in English, with plans for translation into French and Spanish in a near future.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty that helps countries to control, reduce and eliminate mercury across all its life-stages with the objective of protecting human health and the environment. The Convention learned lessons from the industrial mercury pollution in Minamata Bay in Japan leading to severe health damage to thousands of people in the mid-20th century, which required enormous efforts to restore the marine ecosystem. Since it entered into force on 16 August 2017, Parties have been working together to control mercury supply and trade, reduce the use, emissions and releases of mercury, raise public awareness, and build the necessary institutional capacity.

The United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) is a United Nations organization dedicated to serving the learning, training and knowledge management needs of the UN system and relevant partner organizations. Established as an inter-agency learning institution in 2002, it has become strategic partners to a wide planet-spanning network of stakeholders. It aims to create first-rate learning experiences grounded in the bedrock values of multilateralism and dignity for all enshrined in the UN charter.