Development of Minamata Initial Assessment and National Action Plan for Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining in Myanmar

Project General Information


MIA NAP Myanmar

Harmful substances and hazardous waste

Persistent Organic Pollutants


Ratification and early implementation of the Minamata Convention contributes to the protection of human health and the environment from the risks posed by unintentional and intentional emissions and releases, unsound use and management of mercury in Myanmar.

Expedited Enabling Activity(EA)


Western Asia


GEF Trust Fund

Stage Grant to UNEP Grant to other IA Co-Financing UNEP Fee Other IA Fee



Executing Agency Category

Partner Category

Name Category Period

Low Risk

This project can assist Myanmar to clearly identify areas of improvement, starting at the local, and community levels and complemented with national policies. For example, through the inventory process, and the mapping of key mercury pollution sources, the project will define at-risk populations across Myanmar. Project activities will also involve consultation with at-risk communities with the aim of increasing understanding about the risks of mercury exposure. Project activities will ensure communities at risk with clear and accurate information to protect themselves. This is likely to involve, but not be limited to employees potentially at risk of mercury exposure, workers associations and medical associations, and poor communities living in close proximity to industry facilities and contaminated sites. Regarding gender, in many ASGM areas women perform tasks where toxic exposure occurs since they do not require strength. These jobs include pouring the mercury into the ball-mills or mixing the mercury in panning, and burning the amalgam, often with their children or babies nearby. In some countries, women also carry the rocks from the mining sites to the processing plants. Moreover, with an estimated 4.5 million women working in artisanal mining, many of childbearing age, low-level exposure to infants during gestation and breast-feeding is a risk. As a potent neurological toxicant that interferes with brain functions and the nervous system, mercury has been shown to be particularly harmful to neurological development of babies and young children. The project will ensure that there are opportunities for women to contribute to, and benefit from, the project outcomes. Specifically the project executor will work with national coordinators to ensure women are well represented on national coordinating committees, and that consultation with at-risk communities targets both women and men. The project coordinator will also ensure that always when possible, data collected in the framework of this project will be disaggregated by sex and age. The NAP for the ASGM sector will fully incorporate the gender dimensions identified in the national overview of the ASGM sector and foster gender equality. A gender specialist will be identified in each country and will take part in the Stakeholder Advisory Group. A gender specialist will also be engaged by the Global Mercury Partnership to ensure gender considerations are fully taken into account during the project implementation. Pregnant women, children and communities nearby mercury sources are more vulnerable to mercury exposure. Therefore this project will advocate for a national regulatory framework targeting the protection of these vulnerable groups. Through these vulnerable groups, the project will also sensitize the general population about the risks of mercury.


Fiscal Year Project activities and objectives met

The Mercury Convention was adopted in January 2013 and will come into force once the required number of countries ratifies the Convention. The Minamata Convention on Mercury identifies and describes in its Article 13 the financial mechanism to support Parties from developing countries and countries with economies in transition to implement the Convention.  It identifies two entities that will function as the Financial Mechanism: a) the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund; and b) A specific international Programme to support capacity-building and technical assistance. As such, the GEF Assembly, at its fifth meeting, held in May 2014, agreed to an allocation in its sixth replenishment of $141 million for work under the Convention, out of which $30 million to support enabling activities and promote their integration into national budgets and planning processes, national and sector policies and actions and global monitoring.


At its sixth session held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 3 to 7 November 2014 the INC applied a revised eligibility criteria in providing financial support to developing countries and countries with economies in transition for activities under the Minamata Convention on Mercury. It requested the eligibility for funding be extended for enabling activities to non-signatories to the Convention, provided that any such State is taking meaningful steps towards becoming a party. Such request was approved by the Council of the GEF in January 2015.


The revised GEF initial guidelines for enabling activities for the Minamata Convention on Mercury circulated to the GEF Council members in January 2014 presented in its section 1 the initial guidelines for the development of “Minamata Initial Assessment activities” (MIA) and in its section 2 the guidelines for the preparations of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) National Action Plans (NAPs) required under article 7. These guidelines were revised by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee 6 (INC 6) consistent with the resolution adopted by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The draft guidance was introduced to the INC 7 as an annex of the document UNEP (DTIE)/Hg/INC.7/17. It was agreed that the guidance in its current form would be used to assist countries in the preparation of their action plans in the period between the current session and the first meeting of the Conference of Parties. This project follows the guidelines introduced in the INC 7 and will seek for comments from Governments to improve the guidance with a view to presenting a revised version of it for consideration and possible adoption by the Conference of the Parties at its first meeting.


The project also contributes to the achievement of the expected accomplishment A under the UN Environment biennial Programme of Work (PoW) 2016-2017 “countries increasingly have the necessary institutional capacity and policy instruments to manage chemicals and waste soundly, including the implementation of related provisions in the multilateral environmental agreements”. The MIA and NAP development contributes in particular to the PoW output 2 “secretariat support provided to the intergovernmental negotiating committee to prepare a global legally binding instrument on mercury (the Minamata Convention on Mercury) during the interim period, prior to its entry into force”. Through this project UN Environment will provide national stakeholders with the policy and technical instruments needed to ratify the Minamata Convention and will strengthen the national institutional capacity to its early implementation. It will also apply and comment the NAP guidance as required by the INC 7. The outcomes of this project are also aligned with the objectives of the proposed PoW and budget for the biennium 2018-2019 approved by UNEA in 2016, expected accomplishment A, policies and legal, institutional and fiscal strategies and mechanisms for sound chemicals management developed or implemented in countries within the framework of relevant multilateral environmental agreements and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). The project will contribute to the indicator of achievement by increasing the number of countries that have used UN Environment guidance in developing an Action Plan that promotes sound mercury management and implement the Minamata Convention.

Myanmar was not in a position to sign the Minamata Convention before it was closed for signature on 09 October 2014. Myanmar is however taking meaningful steps to ratify the Convention, as stated in letter addressed to UN Environment and the Global Environment Facility on 30 June 2015. In particular, Myanmar has participated in the South East Asian Sub-Regional Workshop in Support for the Ratification and Early Implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury 19 to 21 March 2014, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Myanmar has also participated in the Asia and the Pacific Regional Workshop in Support for the Ratification and Effective Implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury from 17 to 18 March 2015, Jakarta, Indonesia. In these occasions Myanmar discussed and elaborated a draft national roadmap for the ratification of the Convention with other ministries and stakeholders.

This project is aimed at facilitating the ratification and early implementation of the Minamata Convention by providing key national stakeholders in Myanmar with the scientific and technical knowledge and tools needed for that purpose. Myanmar will benefit from new and updated information about the mercury situation in the country and from increased capacity in managing the risks from mercury. The sharing of experiences and lessons learned throughout the project is also expected to be an important contribution to other similar countries within region.



$ 0.00

Project Objective: Ratification and early implementation of the Minamata Convention contributes to the protection of human health and the environment from the risks posed by unintentional and intentional emissions and releases, unsound use and management of mercury in Myanmar.

Project Components

Project Outputs

(in $)

GEF Project


Confirmed Co-financing[1]

1.     Global technical support for MIA and NAP development

1.1  Training and guidance provided to relevant national stakeholders in Myanmar to develop a MIA and develop and implement a NAP as per Annex C of the Minamata Convention




2.    Minamata Initial Assessment (MIA) and National Action Plan (NAP) development

2.1  Identified and strengthened national coordination mechanisms and stakeholder advisory groups that will guide the project implementation


2.2  National institutional and regulatory framework and national capacities on mercury management assessed


2.3  National inventories of mercury sources and releases and strategy for the identification of mercury contaminated sites developed


2.4  Challenges, needs and opportunities to implement the Minamata Convention assessed and recommendations to ratify and implement the Minamata Convention developed


2.5  Draft NAP developed as per Annex C of the Minamata Convention



















3.     MIA validation and NAP endorsement and submission to the Minamata Secretariat

3.1  Technical support provided to Myanmar to facilitate the MIA validation and NAP endorsement and submission to the Minamata Interim Secretariat









4.     Monitoring and Evaluation

4.1  Status of project implementation and probity of use of funds accessed on a regular basis and communicated to the GEF


4.2  Independent terminal evaluation developed and made publicly available.











Project Management Cost[2]



Total Project Cost




[1] Co-financing for enabling activity is encouraged but not required.

[2] This is the cost associated with the unit executing the project on the ground and could be financed out of trust fund or co-financing sources. For EAs within the ceiling, PMC could be up to 10% of the Subtotal GEF Project Financing.