Desiree Montecillo-Narvaez
Desiree Montecillo-Narvaez
Topic: Health and Environment Impact of Mercury
Dr. Desiree Montecillo- Narvaez is currently Programme Officer of UNEP Chemicals Division of Technology, Industry and Economics based in Geneva. She is responsible for the UNEP Global Mercury Partne...
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Number of questions: [2]
Posted on 22/07/2014 11:51:20
Dear Ms Desiree,
Thanks for your assistance with respect to accessing a document entitled ?Guidance for Identifying Populations at Risk from Mercury Exposure? following a question that I posted on February 18, 2009. Indeed, I managed to access the document at the webpage of the WHO, i.e., As explained from page 77 of the document and the two cited articles released by Van Straaten in the year 2000, there has been an increasing trend with respect to the use of Mercury by artisanal and small-scale Gold miners in Tanzania, which, inter alia, threatens their health plus the health of other organisms including fish in areas near that are the mining sites. In what ways do UNEP and WHO assist Tanzania to address such issue?
Francis Bagambilana (from Tanzania (United Republic of))
Hi Francis,

Glad that the document "Identifying Populations at Risk from Mercury Exposure" is useful source of information especially for you in Tanzania. Indeed, artisanal small scale gold mining (ASGM) is a significant source of mercury releases to water and land and emissions to air. ASGM is a socio-economic and development issue and as such, several global institutions and national agencies are involved when addressing the issue.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury contains article 7 which is on ASGM . Paragraph 3 of the article states that "if at anytime the Party determines that ASGM and processing in its territory is more than insignificant, the Party shall a) develop and implement a national action plan in accordance with Annex C.Here, countries are provided guidance on how to develop national action plans in order to address ASGM . For the full text of the Convention, please refer to Minamata%20Convention%20on%20Mercury_e.pdf

During the interim period of ratification for the Convention, countries (including Tanzania) may wish to apply for GEF funding to support Minamata Initial Assessment Activities as well as the development of ASGM national action plans. By acting as the link between the country and the GEF secretariat, UNEP is concretely assisting Governments address ASGM issues.

WHO is assisting governments especially where the human health aspects are concerned. In the Minamata Convention text, reference is made to health in Articles 4,7, 12,16, 18, and 19.

In addition, UNEP and WHO are collaborating on a dental amalgam phase project in Tanzania. We worked with the Muhimbili Health and Sciences College of Dentistry and is a concrete demonstration of UNEP and WHO assistance to Tanzania.

Hope the above information is useful.

Best regards,

Posted on 22/07/2014 08:42:22
Dear Dr. Narvaez,
How has the UNEP been promoting resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production in both developed and developing countries?
Jaemin Woo (from Republic of Korea)
Dear Jaemin Woo,

UNEP has resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production (SCP) as one of its thematic priorities and is indeed being promoted in both developed and developing countries.UNEP's activities are focused on specific tools encompassing policies, market-based instruments and voluntary approaches, with emphasis given to some specific economic sectors. UNEPs work focuses on four central themes:

1. strengthening and communicating the knowledge base for Resource efficiency (RE) and SCP;
2. building governmental capacity;
3. consolidating and extending partnerships with business and industry; and
4. influencing consumer choice.

If you need more information on SCP, please contact colleague

Kind regards,