Minamata Initial Assessment in Turkey project was started on 13 September 2017 and was completed on 30 October 2019. During the project period, Turkey’s first level 1 mercury inventory study and level 2 inventory study were conducted with by national and international experts. In the project, action plan, legal gap analysis and draft legislation were prepared, information seminars and awareness studies were conducted. Animated films, brochures and games were prepared for the children, a chemicals mobile house and an information center for chemicals and mercury have been established with VR glasses. In addition, a mobile mercury measuring equipment was purchased within the scope of the project and now it is available for country usage. All of the equipment was experienced by the participants of the closing event of the project.
The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. The legally binding global instrument was agreed at the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee in Geneva, Switzerland, 19 January 2013. The treaty was formally adopted and opened for signature at the Conference of Plenipotentiaries held from 9 to 11 October 2013 in Minamata and Kumamoto, Japan. Up to June 2015, 128 countries had signed the treaty and twelve had ratified it. Turkey became a signatory on 24 September 2014. The Minamata Convention has a phased approach to reduce, and where possible, eliminate mercury use in key industrial sectors. Provisions of the Convention include phase out deadlines established for supply sources and trade, mercury added products, and manufacturing processes in which mercury or mercury compounds are used. Based on these targets, the Convention is designed to systematically reduce emissions and releases to land and water, and phase out the use of mercury where alternatives exist.
In the project, analyzes were made and reported in air, water, wastewater, human blood and soil in selected region with academicians, and their presentations were made by the academicians at the meeting. The process of becoming a party to the Convention in Turkey has been initiated and waiting to be approved by the Presidency.