Mercury is a notorious heavy metal of global concern and known to be a potent poison of the human nervous system since Greek and Roman times.
In January 2013 governments took a major step forward to begin lifting the health and environmental impacts of mercury, including its most toxic forms, by agreeing a global Convention covering emissions and releases.
The lives of millions of people, from small-scale and artisanal gold miners and their families to pregnant mothers and their babies in the North and the South, stand to benefit from the Minamata Convention of Mercury. The Convention’s name comes from the Japanese town where mercury releases from a factory contaminated fish leading to the poisoning of the local population.
In October 2013 at a Diplomatic Conference held in Minamata and Kumamoto, Japan, the Convention was adopted by governments and opened for signature. The more governments who sign and the faster the process goes, the sooner the Convention will enter into force.
It is in the interests of all the people of the world who treasure healthy lives for citizens everywhere to support their governments in this process.