VIENNA, 29 April 2014 - The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Japan’s Nomura Kohsan Company, Ltd., the specialized mercury/mercury wastes processer in the country, will cooperate on projects that manage waste from mercury, a hazardous compound that is widely used in many industrial applications and products and emitted through human activity.
A memorandum of understanding on this was signed in Vienna today by Taizo Nishikawa, Deputy to the Director General of UNIDO, and Yutaka Ichihashi, the Executive Director of Nomura Kohsan.
The new partnership is expected to increase the technical capacity of recipient stakeholders in assessing, managing and reducing the risks to human health and the environment posed by mercury and mercury-containing waste. It will also help develop mercury storage solutions.
Since mercury is a chemical element and hence cannot be destroyed, it is anticipated that once the Minamata Convention on Mercury, an international treaty designed to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds, starts producing results, quantities of mercury will have to be safely stored. Stabilization methodologies have to be developed and tested in order to provide the Conference of the Parties adequate informed advice.
“UNIDO and Nomura Kohsan plan to work together to develop and test pilot projects in order to contribute to this process,” said Taizo Nishikawa.
He added that other joint initial activities and projects could include mercury waste management in fluorescent lamps and batteries, two widely disseminated products which use mercury.
One of the main activities of Nomura Kohsan in its Hokkaido plant in Japan is to recycle used lamps and batteries. “UNIDO and Nomura Kohsan plan to join hands to partially disseminate this technology to developing countries, starting to the South East Asia region where mercury-containing wastes have been identified as one of the major issues facing the countries for the ratification of the Minamata Convention,” said Nishikawa.
UNIDO foresees seeking financing from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), and further support from the Government of Japan.
For more information on UNIDO, please contact
Nomura Kohsan Co. Ltd.
+81 3 5695 2531