Strengthen Bosnia and Herzegovina Decision-Making Towards Becoming a Party to the Minamata Convention and Build Capacity for Implementation of Future Provisions
What is the project about?
According to the World Health Organization, mercury is considered as one of the top ten chemicals or group of chemicals of major public health concern. However, mercury pollution and its hazards have not been appropriately addressed in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) yet. There is no local production of mercury containing products or chemicals in BiH. Still, the country does not dispose of specific data and information on mercury-containing products and chemicals, the use of mercury in various industrial processes or important release sources of mercury to the environment. Withal, there are also growing concerns about the hazardous nature of anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds that pose adverse effects on human health and the environment. For this reason, it is very important to assess the country’s situation related to the mercury management, to enable it to start addressing its main priorities in this respect. This process also represents the obligation of BiH to fulfil the international requirements and those that refer to the European Union accession process.
In 2016 BiH provided funds from the Global Environmental Facility for the realization of the Project “Strengthen Bosnia and Herzegovina Decision-Making Towards Becoming a Party to the Minamata Convention and Build Capacity for Implementation of Future Provisions”. The project has been implemented by UNDP with following partner institutions for the realization of Project’s activities: Ministry of foreign trade and economic relations of BiH, Ministry of environment and tourism of the Federation of BiH, Ministry of spatial planning, civil engineering and ecology of Republika Srpska and Government of Brcko District of BiH.
The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury and mercury-containing products. The Convention was adopted on October 2013 in Japan.
What We Do
The Project undertakes a Mercury Initial Assessment to enable the country to determine the requirements and needs for becoming a Party to the Minamata Convention and to establish the foundations for undertaking future work towards the implementation of the Convention.
It will do so by implementing 4 components as specified in the GEF guidelines (GEF/C.45/Inf.05 paragraph 19), as well as a fifth component on mainstreaming:
1.) Undertake an assessment of legislation and policies in regard to the implementation of Convention provisions
2.) Undertake an initial assessment of mercury in the following categories:
- Stocks of mercury and/or mercury compounds and import and export procedures including an assessment of the storage conditions;
- Supply of mercury, including sources, recycling activities and quantities;
- Sectors that use mercury and the amount per year, including manufacturing processes and mercury added products (there is no Artisanal and small-scale gold mining - ASGM in Bosnia and Herzegovina);
- Trade in mercury and mercury containing compounds.
3.) Identify Emission sources of mercury and Release sources of mercury to land and water.
4.) Assess institutional and capacity needs to implement the Convention.
5.) Mainstream BiH mercury priorities in policies and plans to raise the importance of Hg priority interventions
Parallel to these activities, awareness raising activities of groups at risks and strengthening of institutional capacities at all levels in BiH to create environment where relevant stakeholders would have exact information in terms of mercury-related circumstances have been undertaken.
Project contributes to the following:
- Establishment of foundations for future implementation of the Convention once BiH has accessed it
- Fulfilment of international and obligations of BiH that have been arising from the EU accession process
- Reduction of the hazardous effects of mercury on public health and environment
The project is been implementing through following two components:
- Establishment of an enabling environment for decision-making on becoming a Party to the Minamata Convention – establishment of a decision-making structure on mercury in BiH, assessment of policy and regulatory framework and institutional capacity needs in regard to the implementation of the Convention’s provisions, raising awareness on the environmental and health impacts of mercury, mainstreaming at least one mercury-related priority into existing BiH policies/plans.
- Development of a National Mercury Profile and Mercury Initial Assessment Report – building BiH capacity to undertake the Mercury Inventory, conducting the Mercury Inventory and preparing the BiH Mercury Profile and preparing the Mercury Initial Assessment Report of BiH
Expected Project results
- Mercury Coordination/Consultation Mechanism established in BiH with at least two meetings held during the Project
- Assessment report on the existing and required policy and regulatory framework as well as institutional capacity to implement the Convention prepared
- Awareness raising activities conducted targeting decision makers and population groups at risk
- At least one mercury-related priority intervention mainstreamed in policies/plans in BiH
- Capacity building training to commence the Mercury Inventory in BiH organized
- Mercury inventory conducted and sector description by usage of mercury developed
- Mercury Initial Assessment Report of BiH (MIA report) for accessing the Convention prepared
What have we accomplished so far?
- Capacity building training to commence the Mercury Inventory in BiH for representatives of relevant institutions and consultants organized
- Mercury Coordination/Consultation Mechanism established in BiH with and first meeting held
- Preliminary results of the mercury initial assessment in Bosnia and Herzegovina presented
- Public campaign on impacts of mercury in healthcare centres in the Federation of BiH
- Improvement of the final draft of MIA Report in accordance to the comments received by relevant institutions
Who Finances it?
Planned duration of the Project is 24 months with total budget of 200.000 USD.