STAFF REPORT IBD: Discussing the negative impacts of Mercury on environment and health, the speakers at a panel discussion said that the world deserves zero Mercury now for which limiting the use of the toxic substance and its emissions into the atmosphere is direly needed.

The discussion “Regulating Global Mercury Uses and Releases Control: Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee Fifth Meeting (INC-5) – Issues and Concerns for Pakistan” has recently been organised by the SDPI in collaboration with international Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) in Islamabad.

Chairing the session, Eng. Asif Shuja Khan, DG, EPA, said that the government is launching the National Mercury Reduction Programme under which all the mercury sources in Pakistan would be indentified and an inventory would be made.

“In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly on environment had adopted a decision to develop a legally binding instrument on mercury. So an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) was formed,” said Dr. Mahmood A. Khawaja, SDPI Senior Advisor on the occasion.

He said that emerging countries are seeking flexibility partly by allowing each nation to compile an emissions cut plan according to its own domestic circumstances.

He suggested that the technology is widely-available to manage mercury pollution from emissions controls to mercury-free alternatives for nearly all mercury-containing products and industrial processes.

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