Russian Television | Additional commentary by Axel Sturm
Environmental mercury levels have been rising, and anticipated further increases have motivated UN delegates in Geneva to reach a consensus on the solution.
Mercury can cause a range of neurological and health problems and is potentially fatal in large doses.
The legally binding rules, known as the Minimata Convention, was established on Saturday morning. The UN approval of the treaty followed recently published data which demonstrated an alarming rise in levels of the highly toxic metal, especially in developing states.
‘Minimata’ is the Japanese name for a neurological disorder that arises from severe mercury poisoning, symptoms of which can include numbness in the extremities, ataxia, damage to speech, sound and sight, paralysis and death.
Once released into the environment, mercury can become more concentrated as it moves up the food chain. It can bio-accumulate in fish, which humans then consume.
The UN said a growth in small-scale mining and coal-burning were the primary reasons for the rise in mercury emissions.
Axel Sturm (President, European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper) comments:
Recently the Autonomous Bougainville Government discussed this problem and I strongly believe it is up to us to inform the people of Bougainville through our media platforms. We are obliged to do this.
Mercury is not a problem of Bougainville alone, of course, it’s also a problem for all Papua New Guinea.