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Abstract Title: Strengthening mercury research capacity in developing countries for science-based policy making
Presenter Name: Mr Mitsugu Saito
Co-Presenters/Co-authors: Koichi Haraguchi
Company/Organisation: UNEP Asia and the Pacific Office (ROAP)
Country: Thailand

Abstract Information :

Minamata Convention on Mercury is one of the newest multilateral environmental agreement aiming at protecting human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and release of mercury and mercury compounds. The Parties to the Convention must abide by the provisions stipulated to the Convention text. There has been a growing need for capacity building concerning appropriate mercury monitoring skills in developing countries to ensure the implementation of the required efforts to monitor the levels of mercury and mercury compounds.

The current capacities of mercury analysis laboratories as well as the national priorities in developing countries are diverse. Thus, the capacity needs for mercury analysis are also different. It is important to recognize that the country-specific customized approach will be the most effective and efficient way to strengthen their capacities. In addition, regional cooperation approach would be a possible way to enhance collective capacity in the entire region by sharing roles and functions in some lead countries to other countries with less competencies.

UNEP is implementing a Japan-funded project to support its member states for the early implementation of the Convention. The project is creating qualified information particularly in the context of developing countries. The workshop aims to provide the information on the project and disseminate the achievements for wider audiences. This workshop will provide replicative information to non-partners countries especially peers in other regions.

Four (4) topics are selected based on the meaningful progress to be anticipated by the time for the sessions. They are:
•Laboratory proficiency testing for mercury analysis;
•Capacity assessments of laboratories that are analysing/will analyse mercury;
•Mercury inventory and mass flow development; and
•Country specific researches to address national challenges (mercury waste).



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