Published Date: Jan 8, 2013
Panel discussion: Make Pakistan mercury-free says experts
Experts discussed ways to eliminate the use of mercury
in industrial and agricultural processes in compliance with international
standards at a panel discussion on Monday.
in principle, supports the elimination of all hazardous substances, including
mercury, but local industry and agriculture should not be affected by
international decisions, said Zaheer Ahmed Gillani, national programme manager
at the Ministry of Climate Change. The discussion, “Regulating Global Mercury
Uses and Releases Control: Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee Fifth
Meeting (INC-5) – Issues and Concerns for Pakistan,” was held at Sustainable
Development Policy Institute.
suggested that Pakistan should take the position that their compliance with
obligations relating to control measures are conditional to developed nations’
compliance with obligations relating to provision of financial and technical
assistance as well as technology transfer.
Senior Advisor Mahmood A Khawaja said coal and other minerals contain mercury
which is released in the air mainly from thermal power plants and
metal-smelting facilities. He stated that in 2009, the United Nations General
Assembly on Environment decided to develop a legally binding instrument on
the INC-5 in Geneva, participants will try to reach an agreement on limiting
the use of mercury and its emissions. Khwaja stressed the need for mandatory
national implementation plan.
suggested that technology to manage mercury pollution and mercury-free
alternatives should be widely available.
are underway around the world to devise effective instruments for eliminating
mercury in products and processes used in industry and agriculture. “Currently
the international community is engaged in extensive debate about options for
improved international governance,” he added.
Environmental Protection Agency Director General Eng. Asif Shuja Khan stated
that the government plans to launch the National Mercury Reduction Programme.