Side Events of Third Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP3)

Monday 25 November – 13:15-14:45 – Room 3

Delivering on the 2030 Agenda through Environmental Governance: Promoting synergies between biodiversity and chemicals and waste MEA clusters


Multilateral Environmental Agreements are fundamental instruments in strengthening the environmental dimension of 2030 Agenda. In this wider context of sustainable development, the MEAs have a crucial role not only in responding to environmental challenges but preserving the human wellbeing, healthy ecosystems and food security.

The biodiversity and chemicals/waste related MEAs cut across all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.  In addition to their distinct legal mandates, many interlinkages exist across the conventions. These interlinkages and cross-cutting issues provide concrete footsteps and opportunities for closer cooperation at all levels. New thinking and models for action are needed to reverse the current environmental trends.  There are increasing calls to address the challenges coherently by working together, outside the silos.

The current ongoing processes on post-2020 framework for SAICM and the post-2020 biodiversity framework provide important avenues for enhancing policy coherence and cooperation. These future looking processes offer concrete ways to enhance synergies both among the different MEAs as well as in the wider UN-system.  The Chemicals and Waste Branch of UNEP in consultation with Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC) and other institutions is currently working on an Assessment paper, which seeks to assess the linkages between chemicals and waste management and other international policy agendas and to identify opportunities for coordination and cooperation. The paper presents an entry point to further build on synergies between identified policy agendas, including implementing biodiversity and chemicals/waste agendas at national, regional and global level. 

UNEP and the various environmental agreements need to further strengthen the joint actions to deliver on the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Promoting synergies of MEAs across biodiversity and chemicals/ waste clusters is one of the key areas of work in this regard. 


The event is organized by UNEP and its main objective is to showcase the interlinkages between clusters and facilitate interactive dialogue on way forward – what needs to be done on national, regional and global level.   Most participants will be drawn on a first-come, first-served basis, from national delegations to the Minamata convention to share ideas and way forward on enhancing synergies among biodiversity and chemicals MEA clusters. Other participants will represent the UN system, international organizations, and major groups and stakeholders. Flyers, power point presentations on promoting synergies among biodiversity and chemicals and wastes clusters of MEAs shall be used to aid knowledge and information sharing for the meeting.


Participants will develop a practical understanding on the synergies between biodiversity and chemicals/ waste MEA clusters, as well as an understanding on how best to promote synergies among the two MEA clusters at all levels.  A detailed meeting report shall be developed and shall be uploaded on UNEP and relevant MEA websites to ensure information with unrepresented parties and stakeholders.

Target audience

  • Member state representatives present at the CoP
  • MEA Secretariats (Biodiversity and chemicals and waste related)
  • The private sector
  • NGOs
  • UN agencies- UNEP, WHO, OHCHR etc
  • Intergovernmental Organizations

Draft Agenda
(Moderator Jacqueline Alvarez, UNEP Chemicals)

13:15-13:30 Welcome and opening (Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UNEP)

13:30-13:40 Overview of options and opportunities from chemicals and waste perspective (Rossana Silva Repetto, Executive Secretary Minamata Convention on Mercury)

13:40-13:50 Overview of options and opportunities from biodiversity perspective (Martha Rojas Urrego, Executive Secretary Ramsar Convention on Wetlands)

13:50-14:45 Open Discussion, invited comments by:

  • Carlos Martin-Novella, Deputy Executive Secretary BRS Conventions
  • Sverre Thomas Jahre, Senior Advisor, Department of Marine Management and Pollution Control, Section for Industry, Norway
  • Felix Wertli, Head of Section, Global Affairs, Switzerland
  • Noluzuko (Zukie) Gwayi, Senior Policy Advisor, International Chemicals and Waste Cooperation, South Africa

Guiding questions for Discussion

  1. What opportunities do you see for (inter-cluster) synergies to deliver on the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?
  2. Way forward. How best can synergies between the two MEA clusters be built on?

14:40-14:45 Conclusions and Closing (Tita Korvenoja, UNEP Law Division)

Monday 25 November – 13:15-14:45 – Room 4

planetGOLD: solutions for the ASGM sector

Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the largest anthropogenic source of mercury globally. Under the Minamata Convention on Mercury, Parties agreed to take steps to reduce, and where feasible eliminate, the use of mercury and mercury compounds from ASGM. To address this sector, the GEF approved a $45 million global program, Global Opportunities for Long Term Development of the ASGM Sector (GEF GOLD). This program now has its own identity and is branded planetGOLD. 

During this side event, some of the main issues associated with the ASGM sector will be presented, including formalization, finance, and alternative technologies to mercury. Through video, the event will bring miners’ voices to the COP, to identify practical issues and barriers in reducing/eliminating mercury in ASGM. A panel of experts and the audience will then offer their perspectives and possible available solutions.

Expected speakers:

  • Anil Sookdeo, GEF
  • Mariscia Charles, Ministry of Natural Resources, Guyana
  • Dewi Krisnayanti, National Project Coordinator, planetGOLD Indonesia project
  • Patience Singo, Advisor, IMPACT
  • Priya Bala-Miller, Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI), and Chair, Programme Advisory Group, planetGOLD

Monday 25 November – 13:15-14:00 – Room 18

Ending the mercury age in dentistry: the roadmap of solutions for the phase-out mercury dental amalgam
Say No to Mercury

The event will address the various challenges of both the point and diffuse sources of mercury releases and emissions from the dental sector. A roadmap to phase out the use of mercury dental amalgam will be shared. It sets out a new standard for best environmental practices and utilize the best available technology for the permanent abatement of mercury pollution from the dental sector.

Programme: three PowerPoint presentations followed with opportunity for questions from the delegates to the expert panelists.

Expected speakers:

  • Dr Lisa Matriste, Say No to Mercury – “Ten reasons to phase-out dental amalgam NOW”
  • Anita Tibau, Say No to Mercury – “The Ugly Truth – mercury releases and emissions from the dental sector”
  • Mike Darcy, CEO MARS Bio-Med Processes Inc – “Introducing the MARS Liberty BOSS amalgam separator – BAT for the abatement of releases of dental mercury into waste water treatment plants”

Monday 25 November – 14:00-14:45 – Room 18

The African amalgam amendment: protecting our environment, our health and our children
World Alliance for Mercury-free Dentistry

Moderator: Dr, Shahriar Hossain (World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry), Bangladesh

ItemsSpeakers/Intervenants Duration
The African Amalgam Amendment, a high on agenda at COP3: Why the African AmendmentIng. Serge Molly Allo’o Allo’o (Gabon)5mn
Why Ending amalgam for children and nursing mother is significant and a step to equity of the entire world with EuropeDr. Graeme Munro Hall (UK) 5mn
Why does the Africa region support the face out dental amalgam?Dr. Christopher Kapeshi (Zambie) 5mn
Explain the major environmental harm for children’s diets in developing countries unless the transition to mercury-free dentistry begins nowMichael Bender (USA) 5mn
Why is the Global Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry supporting the Africa Region Amendment Proposal?Charlie G. Brown (USA) 5mn
Legal basis of the proposed amendment to Annex A proposed by the Africa regionDr. Wondwossen Syntayehu (Ethiopie/Institut Africain) 5mn
Reactions/comments 10mn

Other speakers:
• Mr. Bally Dominique Kpokro, Executive Director, African Center for Environmental Health, Cote d’Ivoire
• Dr. Say Martial, Cote d’Ivoire)
• Siddika Sultana, Director Asian Center for Environmental Health, Bangladesh
• Mr. Florian Schulze, Project Manager, Environmental Medicine, Germany
• Dr. Aneshimode Leslie Adogame, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Environmental Society (NES), Nigeria

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