Saturday, 4 March 2017

Development of Mercury Initial Assessment in the Caribbean-Project Inception and Mercury Toolkit Training Workshop Report

The main objective of the sub-regional project ‘Development of Mercury Initial Assessments in the Caribbean' is to use scientific and technical knowledge and tools to gain a clearer understanding of the mercury status, and to facilitate the ratification and early implementation of the Minamata Convention. Trinidad and Tobago, recognising the potential benefits from such a project participated in the Project Inception Meeting and Mercury Toolkit Training Workshop hosted by the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for the Caribbean Region (BCRC-Caribbean) from the 10th to 13th October 2016.

This two-fold session was convened at the Hilton Trinidad Conference Centre, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and comprised national representatives from the three other project participant countries namely: Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia. Ms. Keima Gardiner, Environmental Engineering Specialist represented the Ministry of Planning and Development at the workshop.

Participants at the Project Inception and Mercury Toolkit Training Workshop Report
(Ms. Gardiner is pictured in the front row, fourth from the right)

The objective of the Inception Meeting were to: (i) develop a regional strategy for outreach and awareness raising aimed at national/international stakeholders throughout the project; (ii) identify key stakeholders and assign respective roles; and (iii) establish and adopt a National Coordination Mechanism for mercury management. This took place on the opening day and involved presentations on the project from the BCRC-team, the project implementing agency the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as well as, country presentations on the national preliminary mercury sources in the respective territories.

 The training component which ensued on the three remaining days was conducted to ensure that the participants had a clear grasp of the requisite project scope and activities, while setting the tone for the project. The training, which was conducted by Dr. David Buck of the Biodiversity Research Institute, examined elements of the UNEP Practical Sourcebook on Mercury Waste Storage and Disposal, in particular as it related to the development of national inventories, and also included practical exercises on Levels 1 and 2 of the inventory. On the final day each participant was presented with a certificate of participation in the training session.

Members of the Trinidad and Tobago cohort receive their certificates of participation
(Ms. Gardiner of the Ministry of Planning and Development stands at the centre)

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