Tonga is working on ratifying and implementing the Minamata Convention
Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 28/08/2018
Tonga is now working on ratifying and implementing the Minamata Convention on Mercury after its adoption in January 2013.
The international treaty designed to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and its compounds.
This morning, the CEO of MEIDECC – Mr. Paula Ma’u launched the Minamata Initial Assessment (MIA) Project inception workshop.
In a press statement, Ma’u says Tonga is committed to protect human health and the environment and has submitted the hope to accede to the Minamata Convention to the Privy Council.
He says sources of mercury in Tonga are mainly from importing of mercury containing products such as batteries, electrical appliances and other products.
Ma’u says the health impact of mercury varies from toxic to the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes.
Ma’u added that a timeline of six months would be set to push the work through that needs to be done.
The Tongan government is working together with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) on the project to ensure that Tonga can adopt environmental friendly alternatives in the near future.
The Hazardous Waste Management Adviser, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP), Apia, Samoa, Frank Griffin facilitated today’s inception workshop.
He says the inception workshop is important so that they can discuss how they can move forward and see what needs to be done now.
Funding for the project here in Tonga has been provided through the Global Environment Facility.
Participants at the workshop included representatives from the Department of Environment, Department of Energy, Department of Marine, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Tonga Power Limited, Tonga Water Board, Tonga Waste Management, Civil Society of Tonga and other partners.
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