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Cablegate: Demarche On Mercury Issues: Tanzania to Hold

VZCZCXRO3029
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHDR #0423 1911609
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 091609Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7682
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 3324
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY

UNCLAS DAR ES SALAAM 000423

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT OES/ENV FOR HFINMAN
ALSO AF/E FOR JLIDDLE
ADDIS FOR ESTH HUB OFFICE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AORC EAGR ETRD SENV TZ
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE ON MERCURY ISSUES: TANZANIA TO HOLD
STAKEHOLDER MEETINGS

REF: STATE 063943

1. (SBU) Eric Mugurusi, Tanzania's Director for the
Department of Environment in the Vice President's Office,
told EconOffs July 1 that Tanzania has not yet decided which
type of global framework it favors to address problems with
mercury contamination. Mugurusi confirmed that the GOT
currently participates in mercury working groups at the
United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) in order to
discuss safe handling of the element. Tanzania intends to
participate in the second meeting of the UNEP-hosted Ad Hoc
Open Ended Working Group scheduled for October 2008.

2. (SBU) In Tanzania, mercury is imported and is used
primarily for extraction techniques in small-scale gold
mining, in thermometers for medical uses, and in instruments
for meteorological use. While Mugurusi suggested that he
would like to see lead and cadmium incorporated into current
international frameworks pertaining to hazardous waste and
element minimization, he noted that the GOT considers its
position on mercury to be still a "moving target." The
principal concern of the GOT is to focus on ways to reduce
anthropogenic emissions that affect miners and extraction
workers who use mercury in smaller gold mines, particularly
in Western Tanzania. During the second half of July, the
GOT,s Department of Environment will hold a series of
meetings with Tanzanian mercury stakeholders throughout the
country to listen to views and concerns on all sides in order
to formulate a concrete stance on containing mercury
contamination.
GREEN

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