Two scientific workshops on Hg and POPs were jointly organized by Meteorological Synthesizing Center-East (MSC-E) and the Task Force on Hemispheric transport of Air Pollution (TF HTAP) in April 2021. Within the next 2-5 years, the LRTAP Convention is likely to conduct a review of the effectiveness and sufficiency of the Protocols on Heavy Metals and POPs as revised in 2012 and 2009, respectively. The purpose of these workshops was to begin to design cooperative research activities that will enable TF HTAP to better contribute to such a future review. Specifically, to help TF HTAP better assess the regional and extra-regional contribution to long term trends in Hg and POPs and identify additional issues or measures that might be addressed by the LRTAP Convention to protect the environment and human health. Recognizing that Hg, POPs and Chemicals of Emerging Concern are addressed in the Minamata and Stockholm Conventions as well as other regional bodies, including but not limited to the Arctic Council and the European Union, the future work of TF HTAP should be designed to both build upon the findings of recent efforts in other forums and provide useful information back to these other forums to the extent possible.
The workshops were particularly focused on:
- Anticipating assessment needs of the LRTAP, Minamata, and Stockholm Conventions
- Reviewing progress made in other forums, including recent AMAP assessments.
- Identifying cooperative activities that can be undertaken in the short term (2 years) and longer term (4-5 years) to improve our understanding and ability to estimate Hg and POPs pollution levels, trends and source attribution.
Major aims and problems of Hg and POP pollution assessment were discussed by the scientific community including emission estimates, monitoring and modelling. Follow up meetings will be scheduled to further organize cooperative activities identified in the workshops.