Inception workshop in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

February 22 2017 : Democratic Republic of Congo

In the scope of the Minamata Convention, on 22 February 2017, UNITAR joined the Congolese Agency of Environment (Agence Congolaise de l'Environnement, ACE in french) in the launching of the project "Minamata Initial Assessment and National Action Plan for Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining" in Kinshasa, DRC. 

The Minamata Initial Assessment (MIA) aims to strengthen national decision-making and build national capacity towards the ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury and the implementation of future obligations respectively. The MIA project provides an opportunity for a country to undertake several activities including:

  • Mercury inventory
  • Identification and approval upon measures it will take to implement the Convention
  • Estimate associated costs
  • Communicate this information in a course and clear manner

The National Action Plan (NAP), which is for the "Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining" (ASGM) sector, constitutes an obligation under Article 7 of the Minamata Convention on Mercury for each country that has more than insignificant ASGM activity within its territory.

According to the Minamata Convention, the content of the NAP includes the following:

  • Strategies to eliminate work practices and promote mercury-free methods
  • Steps to facilitate the formalization or regulation
  • Baseline estimates of the quantities of mercury used and practices employed
  • Strategies for managing trade and preventing the diversion of mercury
  • Strategies for providing information to ASGM affected communities
  • A public health strategy on the exposure of miners and their communities to mercury
  • Strategies to prevent the exposure of vulnerable populations
  • Strategies for mercury-free ASGM and market-based mechanisms or marketing tools

Workshop objectives

  • Raise awarness of policy makers and the general public on mercury menace and its environmental and health concerns and the need for national action
  • Provide an overview of the Minamata Convention on Mercury
  • The Congolese Agency of Environment highlights the national status on mercury management and the various roles that the DRC played during the negociations
  • Explain the objectives of the project on MIA/NAP project and define the roles of partners - UNEP, UNITAR, ACE and the local stakeholders
  • Establish a National Coordination Mechanism (NCM) and Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) and respective chairs confirmed

Target Audience

  • Government line Ministries and Agencies
  • Selected key industries
  • Civil society and academia


  • NCM and SAG established
  • Operational Terms of Reference for NCM and SAG reviewed and approved and respective chairs elected
  • Project activity plans developed
  • Workshop report and recommendations