The Regional Workshop in support of the Ratification and Effective Implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury was held in Montevideo, Uruguay, from the 16th to 17th of April 2015 hosted by the Minamata Secretariat,.
In attendance at the Workshop were regional Parties to the Minamata Convention (e.g. Guyana, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica), as well as representatives from the regional Parties to at least one of the following: the Stockholm, Rotterdam or Basel Conventions. Ms. Keima Gardiner, Environmental Engineering Specialist, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources represented Trinidad and Tobago.
Ms. Gardiner with a tuna-can model of a shark that was created by school children and presented to Uruguayan Government Officials in an effort to raise awareness of mercury poisoning and the Minamata Convention at the Regional Workshop.
Additionally, there were members from Basel and Stockholm Regional and Coordinating Centres, an array of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and intergovernmental government organisations (IGOs), and representatives from the BRS Secretariat.
The Workshop commenced with a joint session between the Minamata and the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions on matters related to financing and coordination and cooperation. The remainder of the two-day session focused on matters related to the inter-governmental negotiating committee (INC), financial mechanisms and enabling activities to support implementation, technical advice on ratification and regional country-level experiences on the process of ratification or implementation of the Convention.
Trinidad and Tobago benefited from attending this regional workshop as there was current information presented about this hazardous chemical, and the progress made on the implementation of the Convention from a Secretariat and country scale. This feedback can be used to facilitate informed decision making and policy development as the country arrives at a definitive position on the issue of ratification of the Minamata Convention.