Regional SIP workshop in Burkina Faso

21 Jun 2023

In April 2023, the Secretariat participated in a regional workshop held in Ouagadougou as part of the Specific International Programme (SIP) joint project by Senegal, Burkina Faso and Togo.

The SIP project aims to strengthen the legal and institutional capacity of the three countries, at the regional and national levels, to implement Article 3 provisions on trade in elemental mercury and Article 4 provisions on import of mercury-added products.

Marianne Bailey, Programme Management Officer for Capacity-building and Technical Assistance at the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, who attended the workshop, stated that “harmonizing policies and approaches on trade in mercury and mercury-added products in the region can not only ensure the implementation of the obligations of the Minamata Convention on Mercury by these Parties, but can also be an example for the world at large”.

The workshop brought together sub-regional trade and economic organizations based in Burkina Faso, political decision-makers, officials from several ministries in each country, and international organizations. The participants agreed to advance joint approaches to address the risks associated with trade in elemental mercury and mercury added products, including national regulatory and enforcement approaches that can be reinforced at the sub-regional level.

The Minamata Initial Assessments (MIAs) and National Action Plans (NAPs) for Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining developed by the three countries have shown that combating illegal flows of elemental mercury and mercury-added products such as cosmetics, lamps and batteries are among their priority implementation needs. In response, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Togo have joined forces, in partnership with the Regional Center of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions for French-speaking Countries of Africa (CRCBS-AF) and relevant West African regional economic integration organizations. Their aim is to develop strategic approaches at the national and regional levels and establish standard model regulations on trade in elemental mercury and mercury-added products for official adoption by each of the three Parties.

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