Capacity building training programme for regional and sub-regional authorities on the safe removal of mercury stockpiles (MAPs)

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat is currently providing technical assistance to Parties to implement Articles 4, 10 and 11 of the Minamata Convention on interim storage, disposal of waste in mercury-added products (MAPs) using guidelines from the Minamata Convention. More specifically, through twelve individual consultation meetings, a competency based training action plan is being developed and subsequent training programme with competent regional/sub-regional authorities will be rolled out during the period 19 August to 15 September 2021. There are nine project countries – Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Republic of Cuba, Dominican Republic, Co-operative Republic of Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Republic of Suriname. 

Effective capacity building in the Caribbean requires a clear understanding of resource availability, existing systems (formal and informal) and in essence what is ‘doable’ in the project countries. The baseline assessment informed by a combination of analysis of relevant reports to ascertain the existing and planned institutional systems, and training needs assessment of the stakeholders conducted during April 2021 determined the countries current competencies. Each country has their own national framework; however, they are often underpinned by similar legislation thereby resulting in regional similarities.  As a result, the profiles of stakeholders involved at each stage of the removal of mercury process will be developed and these will broadly reflect the region’s capacity to manage waste MAPs. The training action plan will be used to measure the existing capacity against the desired capacity, which will be derived from the various guidelines and best practices. The training action plan including an assessment of countries with existing guidelines for the management of mercury and mercury-added products once finalised will inform the development of the training manual and associated training material which will be used to facilitate virtual training sessions for targeted Member States.

Findings to date indicate that MAPs of concern to the Caribbean region based on Minamata Initial Assessments emissions inventories and stakeholder consultations include:

Source Category 5.5: thermometers with mercury, electrical and electronic switches, light sources with mercury, batteries containing mercury

Source Category 5.6: dental mercury amalgam fillings, manometers and gauges, laboratory chemicals and equipment

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