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Post at: Apr 25 2022

Mercury pollution

Recent context

  • In march 2022,Indonesia proposed a worldwide declaration urging Minamata Convention on Mercury parties to address unlawful mercury trade.
  • The proclamation was delivered in Nusa Dua, Bali, where Indonesia conducted the fourth Conference of Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP4) second segment from March 21st to March 25th, 2022.


  • Indonesia is one of the most-affected countries due to illegal trade in mercury in ASGM(Artisanal and gold mining).
  • Thus the country found it necessary to work together with others to combat the illegal trade in mercury, given its transboundary nature and obvious negative impacts of mercury use on both, humans and the environment.

Minamata Convention

  • The Minamata Convention on Mercury is the most recent global agreement on environment and health.
  • It was adopted in 2013 and entered into force August 16, 2017.
  • India has ratified the Convention.
  • Some 137 parties or countries from across the globe have been working together to control-
    • The supply and trade of mercury.
    • Reduce the use.
    • Emissions and release of mercury.
    • Raise public awareness.
    • Build necessary institutional capacity.


  • It is a naturally occurring element  and can be found in the air, water, and soil.
  • Exposure to mercury even small amounts may cause major health problems.
  • It is a threat to the development of a child in utero and early in life.
  • It has toxic effects on the nervous, digestive, and immune systems, as well as the lungs, kidneys, skin, and eyes.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) considers mercury as one of the top 10 chemicals or groups of chemicals of major public health concern.
  • People are more vulnerable to Minamata disease when they consume methylmercury (an organic compound) from fish and shellfish.


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