10 Oct 2023
14:45–15:45

Venue: Online | Webex

Organization: Minamata Convention on Mercury, Geneva Environment Network

This online event to the 5th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury was jointly organized with the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

About this Session

Projects play a vital role in implementing Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) at the national level, offering valuable capacity-building and technical assistance to developing countries.

As the allocation of funds grows through various financial mechanisms and the utilization of these funds covers broader scopes, the need for a robust knowledge management system becomes crucial.

Such a system not only enables tracking the progress of projects but also facilitates understanding their positive impacts and identifying successful practices that can be replicated in different contexts. By integrating data and ensuring transparency of results, effective knowledge management brings clarity to the forefront.

This online event will explore current and future avenues where technology can enhance collaboration, foster growth, and facilitate improved communication about on-the-ground developments.

The event delved into the transformative potential of technology in the realm of MEAs and discovered how it can empower us to effectively share and leverage project knowledge.

Minamata COP-5 Online Events

This session was part of the Online Events of the Fifth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (Minamata COP-5), taking place in Geneva from 30 October to 3 November 2023. Minamata COP-5 Online Events take place during the week of 9 to 13 October 2023.   → Find more information on the official website.

Speakers

By order of intervention

Marianne BAILEY

Senior Coordination Officer, Minamata Convention Secretariat

Eva DUER

Legal Officer and Head of Unit, Law Division, UNEP

Claire MOREL

Information Systems Officer, Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

Anna GARCÍA SANS

Communications and Knowledge Management Officer, Minamata Convention Secretariat

Malgorzata Alicja STYLO

Associate Programme Management Officer, UN Environment Programme

Diana RIZZOLIO

Coordinator, Geneva Environment Network | Moderator

Highlights

Summary

To be continued.

Welcome and Introduction

Marianne BAILEY | Senior Coordination Officer, Minamata Convention Secretariat

  • It is part of the web of things that make our Convention function effectively. It is so essential for our parties and stakeholders, in particular for two of the other complementary parts of our Convention that make it work well and allow our parties to fully implement their control obligations. Those two aspects are our financial mechanism and our reporting procedures for which we have done knowledge management across the board. The knowledge management function is so essential, and we have made some great progress on that front.
  • What we need to do for these functions is to allow our parties and stakeholders to be able to tell their stories. For example, if there is a funded project, it is a little difficult to kind of search deeply in the weeds to be able to understand what that project accomplished. The knowledge management components of the work of our financial mechanism are essential to tell the story of what the problems were, what needs to be done, what was done, and how others can learn from that. It can inspire action among stakeholders, among communities, and far beyond so that there is scaled-up implementation of all the actions that can be taken to reduce harm from mercury pollution, reduce mercury emissions and releases, and reduce mercury use towards fully making mercury history and eliminating this threat from people’s lives.
  • It is also important in terms of encouraging financing from the very important donors to our financial mechanism and more broadly in the global environment facility and beyond. Now, we are in the context of a historic replenishment in the GEF 8 period for which the Minamata Convention allocation has a healthy increase of up to $269 million. As such, we want to be able to tell that the work has been done and accomplished.
  • For reporting there is a direct relationship between reporting and compliance, and our Implementation and Compliance Committee has benefited from the way we have been able to organize the reporting information, which will also feed into the effectiveness evaluation of the Convention.
  • For all these interconnected needs, knowledge management work is super important. We are very pleased to be able to learn from others and are thankful for the partnerships that have been able to be created through this work.

One final point is just about integration: we need to firmly situate the chemicals and waste management, including mercury management in the broader picture of the work to protect biodiversity and prevent and mitigate and adapt to climate change.

  • These are very interrelated in ways that many people do not think about. It is an important responsibility of our knowledge management work to be able to show those interconnections so that integrated, scaled-up, and widespread approaches take root.

InforMEA Initiative

Eva DUER | Legal Officer and Head of Unit, Law Division, UNEP

The work that the Minamata Secretary is doing on projects is going to be integrated into the whole focus of the InforMEA initiative, so that we can start showcasing project work alongside so much other key knowledge, tools, and data from the different MEAs.

In this context, InforMEA encompasses a large group of MEAs. The membership includes 26 secretariats that are scattered around the UN system with five UN organizations and the IUCN. It covers all the different topics that we have including nature, pollution, climate change, chemicals, and atmosphere. The collaboration comes together through building the capacity of the custodians of the data – the secretariats of the different MEAs — who then negotiate the data standards against the information they exchange.

We will also have project information on MEA implementation projects that come from different sources including from the Minamata Convention’s financial mechanism which is the Global Environment Facility. Through this interoperability process, there are about more than 300,000 documents coming together that can be filtered against 500 term concepts providing some kind of guidance through this information

Website Elements

On glossary of relevant terms
For a demonstration on the glossary, you may watch from 16:20.

  • You can find documents from the different MEAs. For example, you can peruse the relevant articles and paragraphs of the Minamata Convention, and look for provisions on hazardous waste.
  • It is also possible from the Convention text to see the linkages to the different SDGs. One can peruse the entire treaty text against other different goals and targets and find which provisions are important in this context.
    • For example, if we deal with the SDG 12.4, which looks at achieving environmentally sound management of chemicals and way throughout the life cycle, we can see how this trickles down into the entire field of different provvisions in different treaties in different Convention texts and strategic plans, as is the case for the Basel Convention.

There is a huge effort to show the coherent contribution of international law and that includes the environmental conventions to the internationally agreed goals and targets. It is only this coherent and collective action that will eventually bring about implementation and progress.

Search and filters
For a demonstration on the search and filters, you may watch from 18:55.

  • Seen in the example on microplastics, there is a different way of searching, where you can filter by the relevant treaties, relevant parties, information source, type of information, and others including national plans, national reports, and legislation court cases.

Party profiles
For a demonstration on Party profiles, you may watch from 18:55.

  • You can find the party status of each country: which MEAs has the country ratified, which action plans national reports have been submitted to these conventions, what does a given country have of legislation, whose data we get from the FAO legal program, including the work by the law division that is also collecting laws.

E-learning
For a demonstration on the e-learning platform, you may watch from 20:18.

  • There are also free of charge e-learning tools with different courses. In the context of chemicals, waste and the Mercury Convention, we have recently published the mercury and gender course that has been developed with the Convention Secretariat. These courses are partly available in several languages, and at the end, you can get a certificate of participation.

Negotiator’s toolkit
For a demonstration on negotiator’s toolkit, you may watch from 21:07.

  • Something very relevant in the context of the different COPs are negotiations. For negotiators who come together regularly, this is a tool that negotiators have asked and had been asking for some time. This is an effort to bring together materials from the different secretariats, especially in the aftermath of the Covid, where a lot of these negotiations moved online to allow negotiators to get a quick overview of all the guidance material available.
  • The section has different elements training materials, case studies, all the rules of procedures, financial rules of the different MEAs, and an extensive glossary that also includes all the negotiator relevant terms.
  • The way the book is organized explains different terms – for example, what a point of order is. You can then consult the case studies and the different videos that exist on a given issue.

What’s Next?

  • Project information, including documents and data, is one of the big priorities for the coming year. There are also a few elements we are trying such as developing a compliance section.
  • We are trying to allow to develop deeper e-learning sections for different MEAs. InforMEA is also collectively trying to make this information packaged and accessible for UN country teams, so this is on our list to for the future.

Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

Claire MOREL | Information Systems Officer, Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

Minamata Convention on Mercury : Visualizing the Financial Mechanism of the Minamata Convention: An Interoperability Initiative for Project Database and Dashboard

Anna GARCÍA SANS | Communications and Knowledge Management Officer, Minamata Convention Secretariat

Global Mercury Partnership: From Data to Action: using knowledge to achieve mercury-free ASGM

Malgorzata Alicja STYLO | Associate Programme Management Officer, UN Environment Programme

Q&A

Closing

Anna GARCÍA SANS | Communications and Knowledge Management Officer, Minamata Convention Secretariat

Video

Live on Webex.

Documents

Presentations made during the event

Links