26 Sep 2017

Venue: University of genevaInstitute for Environmental SciencesUni Carl Vogt (66 boulevard Carl-Vogt) - Room 001

Organization: Geneva Environment Network

The Hg Week in Geneva

From 24 to 29 September 2017, the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury will gather representatives from around the world at the International Conference Centre in Geneva. In parallel, a week of activities – the “Hg Week” – will be organized in different places of the city to raise the awareness of the public about mercury, its uses, its effects, and how the Minamata Convention contributes to the global solution.

The Convention indeed aims at protecting human health and the environment from the harmful effects of mercury. It sets for that purpose measures to control mercury’s entire life cycle and includes provisions dealing with the informal sector of artisanal and small-scale gold mining.

The Science and Policy Interface

The Minamata Convention is a global treaty to protect the human health and the environment from the anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds. Its negotiations process was initiated in 2010 after more than a decade of active engagement from the global community in bringing the science of mercury contamination to policy implementation. In shaping the obligations of the Convention, the intergovernmental negotiating committee that was established was continuously supplied with the latest scientific, technical, economical, and legal developments.

At the interface between science and policy, the Convention, which entered into force on 16 August 2017, will continue to require the active involvement of a wide range of actors from the scientific world in a broad spectrum of disciplines as it moves through actual implementation of its provisions.

The session explored how members of the scientific community may support the implementation of the Convention around the world, be it in the further development of knowledge and its dissemination, in the exchange of information, in the quest for mercury-free alternatives or in the evaluation of the Convention’s effectiveness.


Vera SLAVEYKOVA, Professor, Faculty of Science and Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva

A Scientific Perspective on Mercury as a Global Contaminant
Noelle E. SELIN, Associate Professor, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

A Scientific Perspective on Environmental Effects of Mercury
Vera SLAVEYKOVA, Professor, Faculty of Science and Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva

Minamata Convention and International Efforts on Mercury Management
Henrik SELIN, Associate Professor, The Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University
Discussion / Q&A

Moderator: Susan KEANE, Deputy Director, Health program, Natural Resources Defense Council

More information and documents

Watch Video of the event