The Indigenous Peoples Platform of the Minamata Convention on Mercury aims to bring together Indigenous voices to promote the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples in the work of the Minamata Convention to put an end to mercury pollution.
In March 2022, the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-4) called upon parties to engage Indigenous Peoples, local communities and other relevant stakeholders in the development and implementation of national action plans to tackle the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM). COP-4 also requested the secretariat to compile views on the needs and priorities of Indigenous Peoples and local communities with regard to the use of mercury in ASGM (see decision MC-4/4).
COP-4 also requested the secretariat to continue to raise awareness and gather knowledge on the interlinkages between mercury pollution, biodiversity and climate change and tasked with the development of a report on how the Minamata Convention can contribute to the Global Biodiversity Framework, which is expected to be adopted at the Biodiversity COP-15 to be held in Montreal, Canada, in December 2022 (see decision MC-4/12).
ASGM is the single biggest source of emissions and releases of mercury into the environment. Mercury used in ASGM directly impacts the health, livelihoods and culture of Indigenous Peoples who are engaged in the mining or who live near ASGM sites.
Even Indigenous Peoples who live far away from ASGM sites are also disproportionately impacted by mercury pollution due to their intertwined connection with nature and a diet that relies mostly on fish and other aquatic animals known to accumulate high levels of mercury.
The Indigenous Peoples Platform of the Minamata Convention on Mercury is being created to facilitate the engagement of Indigenous Peoples in the above-mentioned processes and other relevant work of the Minamata Convention. The Platform is meant as an open and inclusive space to bring together the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples and to promote the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples in the work of the Minamata Convention.
Please contact the mea-minamatasecretariat [at] un.org (Minamata Convention secretariat) to find out more on how to:
- Provide input for the development of a survey to assess the needs and priorities of Indigenous Peoples with regard to the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining.
- Contribute to the development of a document on monitoring mercury on and around artisanal gold mining sites.
- Provide input to a report on the socio-economic impacts of mercury pollution on fisheries and how Indigenous Peoples are affected.
- Become an observer to the Minamata COP and be part of the global community fighting against mercury pollution.
Meeting of Indigenous organizations in Latin America in preparation for the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-5) to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
Indigenous organizations in Latin America will gather in Brasilia on 4 October in preparation for the upcoming COP-5 to the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The meeting will support coordination among Indigenous organizations, particularly in matters related to the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining, and facilitate sharing of experiences for strengthening engagement of Indigenous Peoples in the implementation of the Convention. The meeting will be hosted by the Government of Brazil and financial support for the participation of Indigenous organizations came from Australia, Norway and Sweden.
The new study, subtitled "Exploring how a natural capital approach may support the implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury", highlights the urgent need for action at all levels. It emphasizes the importance of understanding the effects of mercury on fish populations, as well as the often overlooked social, environmental and economic costs associated with mercury pollution.
On the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention takes the opportunity to share its contribution to ensuring that Indigenous Peoples around the world can enjoy an environment free of mercury pollution.
Technical advisors working with Indigenous organizations from Arctic & Amazon participated in the Open-ended Scientific Group meeting to ensure that concerns related to #IndigenousPeoples & #mercury #pollution are taken into account for the effectiveness of #MinamataConvention. pic.twitter.com/ul8bq3GzUQ— Minamata Convention on Mercury (@minamataMEA) March 31, 2023
Participation of Indigenous Peoples at COP-5 of the Minamata Convention
Watch below a video showcasing their attendance at the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-4) in Bali, Indonesia.
- UN Special Rapporteur reports on mercury, ASGM and human rights and Indigenous Peoples rights and toxic substances
- AMAP Assessment 2021: Mercury in the Arctic
- News: Indigenous Peoples around the globe are disproportionately affected by pollution