5 December 2018, Chennai: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India and the United Nations Development Programme, under the GEF project on Improvement of Mercury Management in India, organized a Workshop on “Two-day Workshop on “Minamata Convention and Inventorisation of Mercury in India” in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras during December 4-5, 2018. The Convention, which became effective in 2017, is aimed at protecting human health and the environment from the toxic effects of mercury.
The Workshop was addressed by Sh. Ritesh Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Ms. Nadia Rasheed, Deputy Country Director, UNDP India, Dr. Rakesh Kumar, Director, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI); Prof. S. Mohan, IIT Madras, and Mr. N. Sateesh Babu, Head- Chemicals & Waste Management, UNDP India.
Over the two days, the technical sessions of the workshop deliberated on sources of mercury, environmentally sound management of mercury, regulatory and industry concerns in mercury management; challenges and opportunities in meeting the obligations of the Minamata Convention on Mercury; approaches for conducting a national inventory of mercury as well as case studies of mercury contamination in India.
About 100 participants from Central Govt. Ministries, State Pollution Control Boards, research institutes, professional consultants, industry associations, industries and environmental NGOs attended the workshop.
Improvement of Mercury Management in India (IMMI) is a project being implemented by UNDP for the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The project aims to develop a national mercury profile by undertaking a comprehensive inventory of mercury including significant sources of emissions and releases. The project activities also include an assessment of legal, policy, regulatory, technical and financial needs and gaps that need to be addressed by India to meet the obligations of the Minamata Convention on Mercury as well as conducting awareness workshops for various stakeholders on impacts of mercury on human health and the environment.