May 01, 2018

Led by Conservation Caucus, Colombia Ratifies Mercury Treaty

Thanks in part to leadership by members of the Colombian Conservation Caucus, Colombia has ratified the 2013 Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed into law last week a bill approving the convention - an international treaty that seeks to protect human health and the environment from emissions of mercury and its compounds. Members of the Caucus, particularly Caucus Co-Chair and President of the Senate, Efrain Cepeda Sarabia, and President of the House, Rodrigo Lara Restrepo, led action in the Colombian Congress.

The Minamata Convention is aptly named for the Japanese city of Minamata, where locals, including young children, were famously poisoned by mercury-polluted wastewater. The release of mercury and its compounds into the environment has consistently proven to pose significant adverse health risks, especially for women and children. By ratifying the Minamata Convention, Colombia can increase the control of importation and sale of mercury, take action to reduce emissions, strengthen institutional capacity for cleanup of contaminated sites, and facilitate international financial and technical cooperation on the issue.

The ICCF Group applauds the Congress and the Caucus for this important action. In November 2017, ICCF Colombia hosted a roundtable briefing, led by members of the Colombian Conservation Caucus and Oceans Caucus, in conjunction with the Minister of Environment, to discuss Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), including the Minamata Convention. ICCF Colombia has worked over the past several years to increase awareness of the dangers of use of mercury in mining and to promote a multisectoral approach to addressing this challenge.

  • About
  • Our People
  • Global Presence
  • Organizations
  • United States
  • Intl. Conservation Caucus
  • Oceans Caucus
  • Network and Special Events
  • Latin America
  • Caucus Programs
  • Regional Collaboration
  • Partnerships
  • Africa
  • Caucus Programs
  • Regional Collaboration
  • Partnerships