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Lithuania became the 86th Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury


Last week, after the letters signed by the President of our country certifying that Lithuania had ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury adopted in Kumamoto city on 10 October 2013, were presented in the United Nations, we became the 86th Party of this Convention.

From now on, the responsible institutions of our country will not be able to disagree to import certain mercury compounds. Lithuania will receive information about the sources of mercury or its compounds from the exporting country, and this will enable to know whether it is not from prohibited sources. We will also receive information about imported and exported mercury compounds and their flows if these compounds are transported to Lithuania by air or water from the other parties to the Minamata Convention and there is pollution detected in our country, it will be possible to affect the states that are improperly fulfilling their commitments under this Convention so that they would reduce or terminate emissions.

Mercury is a highly poisonous substance that can cause major damage to people, animals, nature and ecosystems. This metal travels long distances by air, land or water and it can be found far from the source of pollution; therefore, the threat posed by it is a universal problem that is resolved through cooperation at international level and coordination of actions with other countries.

The Minamata Convention establishes the guidelines on how human health and the environment could be protected against the negative impact of mercury and regulates all the stages of its useful lifecycle – the extraction, processing, use in products and production processes, trade, control of its release into air, water and soil, and managements of its waste and cleaning of areas contaminated with this substance.

This Convention has come into effect recently, only last August. At the end of September, the kickoff meeting of the Parties to the Convention which was held in Geneva at the end of September is, according to Aurelija Bajoraitienė, Chief Specialist of the Chemical Substances Division of the Pollution Prevention Department of the Ministry of Environment, the beginning of the “road” of the new Convention.

Public Relations Division
26 January 2018

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas