As a designated financial mechanism of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the GEF has stepped up its commitment with $141 million in grants over the next four years to assist countries to take action on mercury
November 7, 2014, Bangkok Thailand - Governments participating in the sixth session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC6) to prepare a global legally binding treaty instrument on mercury, closed the week long negotiations with encouraging agreements and guidance to the GEF on how to prioritize financial support to developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
Naoko Ishi, GEF CEO, addressed the governmental representatives with a call for action: "We are ready to provide financial resources, but also very keen in transferring knowledge and solutions to countries to implement the convention. I congratulate those parties who have already signed and ratified and begun to take action on addressing mercury. To countries that are still deciding, please join the convention and become a part of a global community committed to working together to rid the world of mercury”.
The treaty will result in legally binding obligations by parties backed by adequate means of implementation for developing countries. This includes financial and technical assistance to be provided by the GEF that in turn has stepped up its commitment with $141 million in grants over the next four years. The funding will be used to assist countries to assess their national situation concerning mercury and prepare for ratification, and take early action to reduce levels of mercury in sectors such as artisanal gold mining, atmospheric emissions and other priority areas for the convention. A specific set-aside has been established to support Least Developed Countries and Small Islands Developing States’ early action initiatives.
During the week the GEF reported back to the INC participants on activities in the past year and future plans. For its 6th replenishment period (2014-2018), the GEF will put emphasis in approving integrated projects and approaches to ensure that chemicals and waste, including mercury, are dealt with coherently at the local, national, regional, and global level and that all relevant stakeholders are brought together to enhance the impact of GEF investments.