WED: Minamata Convention chief, Philippines Secretary discuss priorities, progress in implementing Convention

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Photo caption: Minamata Convention Executive Secretary Monika Stankiewicz and Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of Philippines, Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga.

During her visit to the Philippines, Minamata Convention Executive Secretary Monika Stankiewicz met with the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of Philippines, Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, to discuss the Philippines’ priorities and progress in implementing the Convention. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the planetGOLD global forum on artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM).

“The Philippines is strengthening its regulatory framework for artisanal and small-scale gold mining,” stated Secretary Yulo-Loyzaga. “Engaging with all stakeholders and addressing social drivers that lead to mercury use is crucial for the successful implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. As we celebrate World Environment Day, I want to emphasize the importance of finding synergies between multilateral environmental agreements and SDGs. Chemical pollution, climate change, waste, and biodiversity loss must be addressed together in a systemic way. We have one land to protect from degradation for our people and future generations.”

Executive Secretary Monika Stankiewicz stated: “On this World Environment Day, I would like to call for further action to prevent mercury pollution at all levels, from national to local. It is encouraging to see the growing awareness of environmental and health risks posed by mercury and to understand how to implement the Minamata Convention on Mercury effectively. It is absolutely possible to achieve mercury-free artisanal and small-scale gold mining, get rid of mercury in products and substantially reduce its emissions and releases from industries in the not so distant future. Cooperation among countries, solutions tailored to local circumstances and engagement of civil society, indigenous peoples and local communities are key to this vision.”

The Minamata Convention Secretariat continues its visit to the Philippines with a workshop on mercury trade on June 6 and a field visit to a mercury-free artisanal and small-scale gold mining site that is part of the planetGOLD programme.

 

 

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