2020 Asia-Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network Meeting
Date: September 8, 2020
The 9th Asia-Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network Annual Meeting was held on September 8, 2020. Given the continued spread of COVID-19 around the world, the meeting was held online. A total of more than 50 experts and scholars from 18 countries participated.
The meeting was kicked off with speeches by Taiwan EPA Deputy Minister Hung-Teh Tsai and USEPA Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida. Deputy Minister Tsai mentioned that 2020 has been a fruitful year for APMMN, which expanded from 7 partner countries in 2012 to 18 partner countries in 2020. And last year, thanks to the hard work of APMMN partners, our network was honored by UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen in her speech at the Opening of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, because the “APMMN strengthens national capacity and supports a region-wide network of mercury monitoring laboratories.”
Ms. Nishida praised the development and expansion of the APMMN, and said she was glad that the program has gained partners since it was first founded as a rainwater collection platform. Partners such as the Ministry of the Environment of Japan have been actively assisting with the carrying out of APMMN activities. In the future, other than rainwater collection and the strengthening of air quality monitoring, cooperation in other fields – for example bio-data – can be anticipated. As a critical part of the program, the capacity of laboratories in National Central University could also be expanded. As the visibility and momentum of the APMMN continue to grow, Taiwan’s continued leadership and the commitment of its experts will be essential.
At this meeting, partner countries discussed: the latest updates on the Minamata Convention; the APMMN overview and report on the state of the network; expanding the utility of rainwater and air mercury monitoring data; and they also exchanged ideas on the most recent developments in atmospheric mercury monitoring. The purpose of the meeting was to not only increase the capacity of partner countries to monitor atmospheric mercury, but also to assist in evaluating the effectiveness of implementation of the Minamata Convention.