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The UNEP Global Mercury Programme and Fate and Transport Research

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Presentation on theme: "The UNEP Global Mercury Programme and Fate and Transport Research"— Presentation transcript:

1 The UNEP Global Mercury Programme and Fate and Transport Research
Presentation to the First Meeting of the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution June 1-3, 2005 Keith Puckett Environment Canada

2 Purposes of This Presentation
Present some background on the UNEP Global Mercury Programme Identify some suggested responses to the UNEP Decisions on global mercury (related to fate and transport) How interested governments / organizations can get involved Commend this item for consideration during the Task Force’s workplanning discussion

3 Conceptual Model of How Mercury Cycles in the Environment
3 emission source types: anthropogenic; natural and re-emitted. 3 forms (species) of emissions, reactive: Hg(II) , and particulate: Hg(p) and elemental: Hg(0). Hg(II) and Hg(p) have short atmospheric lifetimes and deposit locally and regionally. Hg(0) has a long atmospheric lifetime; can be transported globally; and becomes part of a global background; >90% in air is Hg(0). This explains our understanding of how mercury cycles in the environment.

4 Anthropogenic Air Emissions of Mercury: Distribution by Region in 1990 and 2000
Africa 9% Asia 38% Australia 3% Europe 33% North America 14% South America Africa 18% Asia 52% Australia 6% Europe 11% North America 9% South America 4% Change Over Time Key point here is the change over time in emissions from developed and developing countries – developed country emissions have decreased dramatically -- developing country emissions are increasing Anthropogenic emissions from Asia (mainly China and India) are growing significantly while emissions from Europe and North America decrease. Estimates of emissions are very rough – largely engineering estimates and rudimentary emissions factors. Total: 1,881 metric tons/yr Total: 2,269 metric tons/yr Asia and Africa account for about 70% of global emissions and show steady, significant increases due to industrialization. Based on Pacyna, J., Munthe J., Presentation at Workshop on Mercury: Brussels, March 29-30, 2004

5 Anthropogenic Air Emissions of Mercury: Distribution by Industrial Sector in 1995
Non-ferrous metal production 170 (7%) Coal and fuel combustion is by far the largest source category Estimates are rough; most countries do not have Hg inventories We need to further develop reliable emissions inventories Pig iron and steel production 30 (1%) Cement production 130 (5%) Waste disposal 110 (5%) Coal/Fuel combustion 1470 (62%) Artisanal gold mining 300 (13%) This slide illustrates the range of sources associated with international mercury emissions. Regionally and locally, specific sources can contribute to heavy deposition even if they constitute a small part of the global pie. Again, very significant data uncertainties, according to Pacyna, inventory author: stationery fossil fuel combustion, +/-25% non-ferrous metal production, +/-30% iron and steel production, +/-30% cement production, +/-30% waste disposal, up to a factor of 5. Chlor-alkali 172 (7%) Total: 2,382 metric tons Source: EPA estimates derived from UNEP Global Mercury Assessment, UNEP, Geneva, December 2002

6 UNEP Global Mercury Program
The UNEP Global Mercury Program was established in February 2003 by the UNEP Governing Council after accepting the findings of the global mercury assessment and concluding that mercury is a global problem The scientific basis for this decision was the 2002 UNEP Global Mercury Assessment to which 55 countries as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations contributed information The assessment identified several examples of data gaps, including that “further studies would be useful in order to improve the understanding of transport, transformation and fate of mercury in the atmosphere and in aquatic and terrestrial media…” Since 2003 the mercury programme has focused on awareness raising and capacity building, mainly via a series of regional workshops around the world Guidance materials, for example a toolkit on inventorying mercury emissions and releases, are also being developed The quote on this slide is from section of the assessment report. Section also provides a list of some suggested areas of research.

7 Strengthening the Program: Results of 2005 UNEP Governing Council Meeting
136 countries/1000 participants Affirmed conclusions of 2003 meeting and called for continued actions with the objective of identifying exposed populations and ecosystems and reducing anthropogenic mercury releases which affect human health and the environment Two aspects of the 2005 mercury decision are of particular relevance : Request to improve global understanding of international mercury emission sources, fate and transport; and promote development of inventories of mercury uses and releases Development of partnerships

8 Partnerships The 2005 mercury decision:
Urges partnerships to be developed and implemented by Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and the private sector in a clear, transparent and accountable manner. Governments to identify set of pilot partnerships by September 1, 2005 UNEP to assist in information dissemination, report on progress, etc.

9 Partnerships The Decision provides some guidance to partnerships. Partnerships are to identify at least: Goals Process and timeline for partnership development and implementation Roles and responsibilities of partners Mechanism for monitoring and evaluation to assess and report on progress of partnerships

10 Partnerships : Current Status
has a page titled “Establishment of Partnerships” to document progress of partnerships So far the U.S. has submitted information on three partnerships to this website: Artisanal and small scale gold mining Products Chloralkali plants US has also indicated its intention to propose partnerships on: Coal combustion Global Fate and Transport Research US-EPA suggested activities under a proposed fate and transport partnership are: 1. Work with UNEP to create an electronic library (i.e., a clearinghouse) and Secretariat with steering group, and 2. Work with potential partners to create 1-2 pilot global fate and transport partnership research activities to serve as models For example, China/Pacific and Arctic regions

11 Fate and Transport Partnership : What could it do?
Accelerate the development of global cycling information Accelerate the dissemination of information between/among scientists and policymakers

12 How to get involved UNEP website
US-EPA fate and transport partnership contacts: Stanley Durkee, USEPA Office of Research and Development, Marilyn Engle, USEPA Office of International Affairs, Environment Canada August 2005 interdisciplinary workshop for research on mercury in polar regions

13 Summary The 2005 UNEP Governing Council decision proposes continued activities related to mercury fate and transport research Some suggestions have been put forward on how to address this aspect of the decision Governments and organizations represented at the Task Force meeting are encouraged to get involved in the UNEP mercury program The Task Force itself could consider sharing relevant work with the mercury program

14 Other Related Activities
UNEP Draft Toolkit for the Identification and Quantification of Mercury Releases to be circulated to UNEP mercury working group for review and possible piloting Environment Canada August nd workshop on mercury research in polar regions Etc…. In 2002, a meeting was held by the AQRB in Toronto where 40 scientists from 8 different countries gathered to discuss the state of research on mercury in the polar atmosphere. This group focused on research pertaining to mercury depletion events recently discovered in both the Arctic and Antarctic. From this workshop a strategy that identified gaps of knowledge and needs for future research for atmospheric mercury in polar regions was put forward and published (see attached table). This summer will be 3 years since that meeting and it is felt that the community should gather again to discuss what progress has been made since identifying these gaps and what still needs to be accomplished. In addition, the International Polar Year (IPY) is fast approaching and scientists studying mercury in polar regions from various fields of study may wish to discuss and develop a targeted strategy for polar research regarding mercury. Goals for this workshop To share knowledge and develop collaborative opportunties To establish what goals and gaps identified from the previous meeting have been addressed and/or met Establish what issues still need to be addressed and possible time frames Identify new issues that need to be addressed Ascertain how to approach and integrate research goals and findings from various disciplines Develop an interdisciplinary strategy for mercury research which includes plans for IPY

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