Sino-German Workshop 2008 REMCOSITE - Final Report

GRS, BMU, Tsinghua University

Mercury-contaminated sites potentially represent an important source of mercury emission into the atmosphere due to evaporation of mercury from contaminated land and waters. They constitute an important source for transboundary movement of mercury through hydrological cycles, particularly in large river catchment areas scale and contaminated coastal regions. Contaminated sites in ecosystem-sensitive areas may represent a considerable health and ecosystem risk due to direct and indirect exposure to mercury and its compounds.

The Governing Council (GC) of the United Nation Environmental Project in its 24th session calls for commitments to increase efforts to reduce global releases and risks, increased data collection and analysis as well as strengthening intergovernmental and UNEP partnerships. The GC established an ad-hoc working group to explore viability of voluntary measures and international legal instruments. In decision 24/3 IV the GC identified remediation of contaminated sites as one priority area for increased global efforts.
The GC commits to address the remediation of existing contaminated sites affecting public and environmental health as well as to increase knowledge on areas such as inventories. In response to the GC decisions the German Federal Ministry for the Environment together with German and Chinese partners agreed to organize a workshop on remediation of mercury-contaminated sites in China.