On 12 July 2023, EPA Deputy Director Wang Yabin presided over the opening of the 12th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network (APMMN). Jane Nishida, Assistant Administrator of the Office of International and Tribal Affairs (OITA) of the USEPA also delivered a speech via a pre-recorded video, acknowledging the efforts and contributions to the environment by the EPA and APMMN partner countries. This year's annual meeting was conducted both in-person and via video conferencing, with the participation of over 50 government officials and scholars from 17 countries. It aimed to deepen Taiwan's collaboration with Asian nations in mercury monitoring and enhance Taiwan's profile in the field of international environmental monitoring.
The APMMN annual meeting this year featured various presentations and activities. Among the speakers, Professor David Gay from the US Atmospheric Deposition Program shared insights into mercury management actions in North America, and David Schmeltz from the USEPA spoke about the latest developments and future prospects of the APMMN. A representative from the EPA's Toxic and Chemical Substances Bureau spoke about Taiwan's achievements and experiences in mercury management following the Minamata Convention, while Professor Hsu Guey-rung from National Central University presented the current status of APMMN implementation. Representatives from various countries were also able to share the current status of atmospheric mercury monitoring in their respective countries.
Furthermore, the EPA organized training sessions on mercury wet deposition sampling and analysis techniques. Meeting attendees were invited to visit the EPA-established Center for Environmental Monitoring and Technology and the Mercury Analysis Laboratory, where they received some hands-on training on ultratrace mercury analysis and quality assurance and control (QA/QC) procedures. Such training activities would enhance the technical capabilities and data quality of partner countries in mercury monitoring.
The EPA stated that as a member of the global community, Taiwan is committed to protecting human health and the environment from the impacts of anthropogenic emissions of mercury and its compounds. Since 2012, the EPA has collaborated with the USEPA to jointly operate the APMMN and conduct atmospheric mercury monitoring, exchanges on environmental monitoring technology, and data sharing among countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The network serves to assist partner countries in meeting the requirements of Article 19 of the Minamata Convention, thereby enhancing their capabilities in atmospheric mercury monitoring. Since its establishment, the APMMN has helped partner countries set up 13 mercury wet deposition samplers as well as analyze over 1,450 rainwater mercury samples. Through this annual meeting, the EPA hopes to foster close partnerships and collaboratively advance the goals of the Minamata Convention, ultimately contributing to a sustainable future for generations to come.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, July 2023
- Ministry of Environment