Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI), a nonprofit ecological research group based in Portland, Maine, conducts innovative wildlife science worldwide.
BRI’s Center for Mercury Studies plays a lead scientific role in understanding the exposure and effects of mercury on wildlife in New England, North America, and around the world. The Center for Waterbird Studies is dedicated to assessing current and emerging threats to waterbirds. The programs in our Center for Ecology and Conservation Research aim to understand the workings of wildlife and their habitats while exploring how ecological stressors affect different species and ecosystems.
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David C. Evers, Ph.D., executive director of Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI), will present current mercury research at a special session at the 16th International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment (ICHMET) on September 26 in Rome, Italy.
The Conference, organized by the National Research Council of Italy Institute for Atmospheric Pollution Research, provides a platform for discussion and presentation of latest research activities and the need for additional policy development to a broad international scientific community. In anticipation of the ratification by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) of a global treaty on mercury scheduled for mid-2013, ICHMET will include a special session on UNEP’s Global Mercury Partnership and Global Policy Perspectives on Mercury.
Evers will be part of a three-member panel discussion that also includes Fernando Lugris, chair of UNEP’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) and Abiola Olanipekun, chair of the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership Advisory Group.
“An important component of BRI’s mission is to inform policy with unbiased, sound scientific data. This conference is a key step in gathering together international scientists and policymakers to promote science-policy interactions and enhance international exchange of information,” says Evers. “We are extremely pleased to be a part of this process.”
In February 2009, the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme agreed on the need to develop a global legally binding treaty on mercury. The work to prepare this treaty is undertaken by an intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) whose goal is to complete the negotiations and ratify the treaty in late 2013. The INC developed committees, or partnerships, that will define and effectively deliver mercury activities to comply with the treaty requirements. One specified partnership is the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership whose overall goal is to protect human health and the global environment from the release of mercury and its compounds by minimizing and, where feasible, ultimately eliminating global, human-relatedmercury releases into air, water, and land.
The mission of Biodiversity Research Institute is to assess emerging threats to wildlife and ecosystems through collaborative research, and to use scientific findings to advance environmental awareness and inform decision makers. BRI researchers work throughout the world in a variety of ecosystems and with a variety of wildlife species. Since its inception, the Institute has been a leader in research designed to understand the exposure and effects of mercury in ecosystems. To learn more about BRI’s Center for Mercury Studies, visit www.briloon.org/hgcenter.
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