Reuters has reported that Indonesia is increasing its efforts to eliminate the use of mercury in sectors such as mining, manufacturing and healthcare.
The government said in a statement that a presidential regulation issued late last month aimed to eradicate the use of mercury in small-scale gold mining by 2025 and in the health sector by 2020.
The government also aims to slash the use of mercury in manufacturing by half current levels by 2030 and cut mercury emissions in the energy sector by 33.2 per cent by the same time.
As part of this push, the Indonesian government plans for stronger coordination between government agencies to improve monitoring of mercury trade and mining supervision. It also wants to boost education for businesses and communities on the dangers of mercury.
The use of mercury in mining is already officially banned in Indonesia, but small-scale miners still widely use it to extract tiny pieces of gold.
There are at least 2,500 active small-scale gold mining operations in Indonesia, according to the country’s environment ministry.
The ministry in March launched a program with the United Nations Development Programme to reduce the use of mercury in six mining communities.