Mercury Free North Sumatra: Stakeholders Support the Preparation of Regional Action Plans

Medan, 19 May 2022— A number of civil society organisations together with the North Sumatra Environmental Service held a workshop on Preparation of the Regional Action Plan for the Reduction and Elimination of Mercury in North Sumatra Province. The institutions involved are the Nexus3 Foundation, Green Justice Indonesia, the Srikandi Lestari Foundation, and WALHI North Sumatra.

The activity, which was attended by the representatives of the North Sumatra Province’s stakeholders aimed at sharing perceptions, coordinating, information gathering, and preparation to form a working group to develop a Regional Action Plan for Mercury Reduction and Elimination or RAD PPM North Sumatra Province.

The elimination of mercury is in accordance with the Minamata Convention which was ratified by Indonesia in September 2017, stipulated in Law No. 11 of 2017 concerning the Ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury and regulated further through Presidential Regulation No. 21 year 2019. This regulation prioritises mercury reduction and elimination in four sectors, namely the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), energy generation, health, and manufacturing sectors.

The elimination of mercury in these four sectors is bound by a time target. The mercury use in the ASGM sector will be phased out by 100% by 2025, while in the manufacturing and energy sectors, mercury emissions will be reduced by 30% by 2030.

“By preparing the Regional Action Plan for the Reduction and Elimination of mercury in North Sumatra, it does not mean that mercury pollution will be overcome, but rather, it is our responsibility as the government to deal with the effects of pollution," said dr. Tengku Amri Fadli, MKes, Head of the Environment Agency of North Sumatra Province. "I hope that all stakeholders can play an active role so that the published document can later become a policy consideration for the Governor of North Sumatra in issuing the North Sumatra Governor Regulation regarding the Regional Action Plan on Mercury Reduction and Elimination in North Sumatra."

Research conducted by Nexus3 with the Biodiversity Research Institute shows that around 70% of the Indonesian sample populations has hair with mercury concentrations above the safe limit, ranked second in the world. The available data also shows that mercury concentrations in all environmental matrices and biomarkers – hair, urine, blood – in Indonesia have exceeded the safe limit.

"The initiative from the North Sumatra Provincial Government to realise a Mercury-Free North Sumatra must be appreciated and supported by all parties, especially by the central government. Mercury pollution and its impact on public health, especially in areas far from Jakarta, often go unnoticed and undermined,” Yuyun Ismawati, Senior Advisor at Nexus3.


“The impact of mercury on public health is threatening the national security. Smart future generations of Indonesia, not only in urban areas but also in locations far from Jakarta, can only be produced in a healthy and mercury-free environment,” said Dana Tarigan, Director of Green Justice Indonesia.

FINISHED

Contact: Zico Silalahi, DLH Provinsi Sumatera Utara, +62 812-6584-086

Dana Tarigan, Green Justice Indonesia, +62 812-6344-992

Yuyun Ismawati, Nexus3 Foundation, +447583768707


This Press Release Document can be downloaded here:

190522_PressRelease RAD PPM Sumut (ENGLISH).docx
.pdf
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