UNIDO's Mercury Programme

UNIDO is leading and facilitating the introduction of clean technologies and policy reform to minimize the use and discharges of mercury. It promotes Best Available Technologies (BAT) and Best Environmental Practices (BEP) through awareness raising, capacity building and technology transfer.

The Programme started in 1994 with some individual projects in the Philippines, Ghana and Tanzania, however it grew in importance with the development of the Global Mercury Project. UNIDO’s Mercury Programme has traditionally focused on the Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sector; however in the last five years, UNIDO has showcased its comparative advantage outside of the ASGM sector by working in other areas such as the management of mercury in waste and other industries.

Alternative technologies for free-mercury mining

Based on UNIDO’s previous and existing experience in promoting environmentally sound management of mercury, the Organization plays an important role under the UN Environment Global Mercury Partnership - a mechanism for the delivery of immediate actions on mercury. UNIDO co-leads the ASGM and chlor alkali areas and is also an active member of the areas related to mercury industrial waste, mercury in products and mercury storage.

UNIDO's Mercury Programme thematic areas:

Minamata Convention

  • Conduct Minamata Initial Assessments (MIAs) to identify priority areas in mercury usage and emissions
  • Establish mercury waste treatment facilities and identify the most appropriate stabilization and storage options
  • Develop and conduct technology training programs in mercury management
  • Develop Minamata National Action Plans (NAPs) to promote the phase-out of mercury in mining and industrial processes

Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining

  • Develop national action plans in the Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sector
  • Promote sustainable artisanal gold value chain
  • Assess and demonstrate pilot remediation technologies at mercury contaminated sites

Mercury emissions reduction from industrial processes

  • Facilitate the conversion of chlor alkali facilities
  • Promote alternative technologies in manufacturing processes, such as vinyl chloride monomer production
  • Support the reduction of mercury emissions at cement production, waste incineration and non-ferrous metals smelting facilities 
  • Create communication tools to foster dissemination of technologies and knowledge management

Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

UNIDO SDGs Mercury

For further information, please contact us at mercury@unido.org