Mercury is toxic in all its forms exhibiting adverse health and environmental effects in particular for pregnant women and small children. The alarming level of mercury pollution is an issue of global concern and a global treaty on mercury is being developed.
In Armenia, one of major sources of mercury pollution is the landfills and waste dumps, where all solid waste including hazardous waste is dumped together due to the lack of treatment and recycling facilities.
Non-ferrous metal production is another major source of atmospheric mercury emissions. Hazard of leakage into the air, soil and water is extremely high presenting significant threats, including possible transboundary contamination. The control measures are weak, policy dialogue, information exchange and cooperation among main stakeholders is poor. Low awareness and thus low civil society participation and inadequate concern over environmental threats may result in major environmental, health, social and economic problems. The project will contribute to the on-going national policy dialogue and highlight implications of possible trans-boundary mercury contamination.
The project will use materials and results of the projects that AWHHE implemented in the recent years. The project will contribute to the efforts of international organizations (such as OSCE, UNEP) and NGO networks (such as ZMWG, IPEN and GEF-NGO) to increase the pressure for a robust globally binding treaty following the INC deliberations. As the National NGO SAICM Focal Point in Armenia, AWHHE actively participates in meetings for the international mercury treaty, as well as the International Conference on Chemical Management meeting (ICCM), this experience will allow AWHHE to assume the leading role in mobilizing the NGO community.
The primary objective of the project is to promote civic engagement in national policy dialogue on the global mercury treaty.