On October 18, 2019, a seminar “Mercury and its impact on the environment and human health” and a round table “State and public participation in reducing the harmful effects of mercury on the environment and human health” were held in Samarkand.
The events were attended by representatives of civil society (NGOs, local communities, women's and youth groups, the Ecological Party of Uzbekistan, the Samarkand regional branch of the Mahalla Charity Fund) and interested state structures of the city of Samarkand, whose competence includes the preservation of public health and the environment region, science and education (SAMGU, Khokimiyat of Samarkand region, Samarkand Regional center of the state sanitary and epidemiological Ontrol, Samarkand Regional Committee for Ecology and Environmental Protection, and others).
The events were organized as part of the country component of the project “Advocating a campaign to eliminate mercury-containing products that pose the greatest risk to human health and the environment of Central Asian countries”, implemented with the support of the ARGO Civil Society Development Association.
Organizer - Ecoforum of Uzbekistan.
Organizational partners - Eco-NGO “Zarafshan” and the Association “For Environmentally Friendly Ferghana”.
The seminar participants were provided with information:
- On mercury and its impact on the environment and human health (problems of mercury pollution in Uzbekistan, production and availability of goods, specific effects of mercury on women and girls, prevention and protection);
- On the current legislation in this area, including the Laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Environmental Control” and “On Environmental Expertise”;
- The National Plan of Action of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the implementation of international documents in the field of ensuring chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear safety for 2018 - 2021;
- Minamata Convention on Mercury;
The seminar discussed the role and experience of public participation in reducing the harmful effects of mercury on the environment and human health.
As a result of the discussion, the seminar participants developed proposals to strengthen state and public participation in reducing the harmful effects of mercury - a draft Appeal to the Goskomekologiya, other interested ministries and departments, industrial enterprises and public organizations calling for accession to the global international agreement on mercury - the Minamata Convention, and also draft recommendations to government authorities on possible measures to prevent and reduce the harmful effects of mercury.
The round table examined international experience in managing and managing mercury-containing wastes, safe alternatives to mercury-containing products, a number of alternative methods for mercury demercurization in wastes, and the position of the International Network for the Elimination of Persistent Organic Pollutants (IPEN) regarding the protection of human health and ecosystems under the Minamata Convention.
Taking into account the comments and suggestions of representatives of government agencies, an appeal was adopted calling for Minamata to join the Convention and recommendations on possible measures to prevent and reduce the harmful effects of mercury.
At the seminar and round table, a social video on mercury was shown, which can be viewed at the links https://tech4eco.org/news, https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ge3YK2n7CL7DQ8PsDa2V18nymtZD3CsU/view
The text of the Appeal and Recommendations can be found on the websites www.ecoforum.uz, http://ekois.net/, http://www.hhi.kz in November of this year.