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18 January 2019, 17:49

Belarus to develop strategy to identify mercury contaminated sites

MINSK, 18 January (BelTA) – Belarus plans to develop a national strategy to identify mercury contaminated sites, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.

A regular meeting of the Coordinating Council of the international technical assistance project “Development of a Minamata Initial Assessment in the Republic of Belarus” was held in Minsk under the chairmanship of Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Protection Minister Alexander Korbut. The parties discussed the issues of project implementation, the first results of a national inventory of mercury releases to the environment, consequences and benefits of ratifying and implementing the Minamata Convention on Mercury in Belarus.

It was also announced at the meeting that in 2019 there are plans to develop a national strategy to identify mercury contaminated sites, and also a GIS application that accumulates available information on mercury contaminated territories contaminated in the country (location, owners, mercury concentration).

Minamata Convention on Mercury was signed by 128 states, 101 of them ratified it. Belarus signed the convention on 23 September 2014 but not yet ratified the document. Alexander Korbut emphasized that Belarus nevertheless does not stand aside. Environmentally sound management of mercury wastes is a major issue for the country.

The international technical assistance project “Development of a Minamata Initial Assessment in the Republic of Belarus” is implemented by the Belarusian Public Association "Ecological Initiative" with the support of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus and is funded by the Global Environment Facility. The project is designed to assist the ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury by Belarus as well as its implementation, to improve the system of mercury management in the country and reduce harmful impacts on environment and human health.

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