Wednesday, January 12, 2005 - Saint Lucia is to be represented at a
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) workshop to address Global Mercury
Pollution, to be held in Trinidad and Tobago. The workshop is part of series to
raise awareness of the presence of mercury in the environment.
St. Lucia will be represented at the workshop by Senior Occupational Health and
Safety Officer in the Ministry of Labour, Lesmond Magloire and Project
Coordinator for the Persistent Organic Pollutants Project (POPS) in the Ministry
of Sustainable Development, Shirlene Simmons.
St. Lucia is expected to make a presentation describing the island’s status
where mercury is concerned.
Speaking to the Government Information Service about the significance of the
workshop to the Ministry’s work plan, Ms. Simmons said, “This gives the
government an opportunity to do a national and comprehensive assessment of
mercury and mercury pollution in Saint Lucia, with the further hope of
developing and incorporating it into a national chemicals management programme
However, Ms. Simmons believes that by all indications, mercury pollution in
Saint Lucia is quite minimal: “Countries like Guyana and Suriname, where they
have mining and therefore use mercury, especially in gold mining, because
mercury is used to separate the gold from the elements whether it be soil, sand,
etc. may have an issue with mercury, but us in Saint Lucia, I don’t see us
having an issue with regard to mercury.”
The workshop, which takes place from January 18th to 21st, will provide a forum
for discussion on identifying and quantifying sources of mercury, prevention of
pollution, and techniques and technologies that can minimize the release of