The ASEAN Dissemination Workshop on the Substitution and the ESM of Mercury-containing Medical Measuring Devices was convened on 28 September 2021 by the Waste and Resource Management Cluster of RRC.AP. The workshop was a wrap up project activity of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) project titled “Development of Capacity for the Substitution and the Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of Mercury-containing Medical Measuring Devices” implemented in the Philippines and Indonesia. The project contributes to the prevention of adverse impacts of mercury on human health and the environment in the ASEAN region. The ASEAN dissemination workshop aims to disseminate outcomes and key findings from the project, and experiences of international organizations to 10 ASEAN Member States (AMSs), lessons learned and discussed the way forward. The ASEAN Dissemination workshop was well attended by 47 participants from AMS’s and other international organisations. Focal points and technical officers from environment agencies of seven (7) ASEAN Member States—Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, and Singapore were represented. Other institutions participating in the workshop included EX Research Institute Ltd. (EXRI), Nomura Kohsan Ltd., Basel and Stockholm Convention Regional Centre—Southeast Asia (BSCRC-SEA), BAN Toxics Philippines, Minamata Convention Secretariat, ASEAN Secretariat, UNEP ROAP, and the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership (UNEP GMP).
The project activities which explored on ground situation assessment on the phase out and management of mercury containing medical measuring devices (MCMMDs), and the subsequent development of Technical Guidelines for the substitution and the environmentally sound management of MCMMDs were presented by the DENR and BAN Toxics for the Philippines, and MOEF, MOH and BSCRC-SEA for Indonesia. These activities were in line with Article 11 of the Minamata Convention. Information on the activities on related mercury management projects in the region along with mercury waste management technology and experiences of Japan were presented by EXRI, Nohmura Kohsan UNEP ROAP, and UNEP GMP, respectively.
Discussions on the next step and way forward were led by presentations by the project implementation team on three (3) proposed project concept options for discussion and consideration by the ASEAN and donors. The proposed project concepts were discussed and well received by participants as a logical and effective way forward to maximise the outcomes of the first phase of the project in the region. Notably, represented AMS’s, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and the Philippines expressed their strong interest in the inclusion and participation in the next phase of the project.