Legal and Institutional Capacity Assessment for Lao PDR to Implement Minamata Convention on Mercury

Thanongkham Venethongkham Deputy Chief, Division of Environmental Inspection for Investment Project, DPCM, MoNRE Email:


The Legal and Institutional Capacity Assessment for Lao PDR to implement the Minamata Convention on Mercury is aimed to strengthen Lao PDR’s national capacity to ratify the Minamata Convention and effectively implement it to reduce, and feasible eliminate mercury use and its emissions and releases. The results of the study found wide gaps and challenges in legal framework and institutional capacity that Lao PDR must overcome in order to comply with the obligations under the Minamata Convention. The Environmental Protection Law and the Law on Chemicals is the core legal framework that closely relates to these obligations. However, these laws and regulations are more general in context and do not specifically address mercury management Regarding intuitional capacity, the Ministry of Energy and Mines, which is the key player in this area and responsible for mining activities, does not clearly define regulations relevant to mercury mining and its utilisation, particularly the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) activities which are the key mercury users in Lao PDR. Furthermore, there is a significant need for cofssat, the mercury trade.

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