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Cartagena Convention

by admin last modified Oct 27, 2013 09:06 AM
The Cartagena Convention’s area of application comprises the Wider Caribbean Region, defined as “the marine environment of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the areas of the Atlantic Ocean adjacent thereto, south of 30 deg[rees] north latitude and within 200 nautical miles of the Atlantic coasts of the [Contracting Parties]” (“Convention Area”). Unless specified in the Protocols, the Convention Area does not include the internal waters of the Contracting Parties.

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The Contracting Parties to the Cartagena Convention and the Oil Spills Protocol are Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, France, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, the United States, and Venezuela.

The Contracting Parties of the SPAW Protocol are Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, France, Guyana, the Netherlands, Panama, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, and Venezuela.

The Contracting Parties of the LBS Protocol are Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, France, Guyana, Panama, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States.


The Cartagena Convention’s area of application comprises the Wider Caribbean Region, defined as “the marine environment of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the areas of the Atlantic Ocean adjacent thereto, south of 30 deg[rees] north latitude and within 200 nautical miles of the Atlantic coasts of the [Contracting Parties]” (“Convention Area”). Unless specified in the Protocols, the Convention Area does not include the internal waters of the Contracting Parties.


The Cartagena Convention imposes general obligations on the Contracting Parties to prevent, reduce, and control pollution in the Convention Area; to promote sound environmental management; and to create additional mechanisms for further cooperation. The Cartagena Convention also obligates the Contracting Parties to take all appropriate measures to prevent, reduce, and control pollution caused by discharges from ships, dumping (from ships, aircraft or manmade structures at sea), land-based sources, sea-based activities, and airborne pollution. The Contracting Parties are further required to take appropriate measures to protect and preserve rare or fragile ecosystems and the habitat of depleted, threatened, or endangered species and to cooperate in response to pollution emergencies (including through the development and promotion of contingency plans). Finally, the Cartagena Convention commits the Contracting Parties to develop technical and other guidelines for use in the planning of major development projects to prevent or minimize potential harmful environmental impacts in the Convention Area. The Contracting Parties must also conduct assessments of the potential effects on the marine environment of those major development projects so that appropriate measures can be taken to prevent substantial pollution or harmful changes to the Convention Area.

Under the Oil Spills Protocol, the Contracting Parties agreed to take all necessary preventative and remedial measures, within their respective capabilities, to protect the Wider Caribbean Region from oil spills by reducing the risk of oil spills and establishing and maintaining response plans. The Oil Spills Protocol provides an array of means to accomplish these objectives, including enacting legislation, preparing contingency plans, identifying and developing response capabilities, and designating an authority to be responsible for implementing the Protocol. The Contracting Parties further committed to provide assistance, within their capabilities, to other Contracting Parties who request help in response to an oil spill.

Under the SPAW Protocol, the Contracting Parties committed to protect and preserve – in a sustainable way – threatened or endangered species and areas of special value within the Convention Area by regulating and, when necessary, prohibiting activities that would have adverse effects on those areas and species. Furthermore, the Contracting Parties agreed to enact certain national measures for the protection of threatened and endangered flora and fauna.

The SPAW Protocol also calls for Contracting Parties to establish Protected Areas to sustain the natural resources of the Wider Caribbean Region and to encourage the ecologically-sound and appropriate use, understanding, and enjoyment of these areas. Protected Areas are intended to conserve, maintain, and restore: “(a) representative types of coastal and marine ecosystems of adequate size to ensure their long-term viability and to maintain biological and genetic diversity; (b) habitats and their associated ecosystems critical to the survival and recovery of endangered, threatened or endemic species of flora or fauna; (c) the productivity of ecosystems and natural resources that provide economic or social benefits and upon which the welfare of local inhabitants is dependent; and (d) areas of special biological, ecological, educational, scientific, historic, cultural, recreational, archaeological, aesthetic, or economic value […]”

Each Contracting Party with jurisdiction over a Protected Area committed to enact protection measures to help achieve the objectives for which the Protected Area was established. These measures include regulation or prohibition of the dumping or discharge of wastes, coastal disposal or discharges causing pollution, passage of ships, fishing, the introduction of non-indigenous species, the exploitation of the sea-bed, and the trade in threatened or endangered flora or fauna, among other protections. Contracting Parties must also adopt a planning and management regime for the Protected Areas and take appropriate measures (such as prohibiting all forms of destruction and the taking, killing, or commercial trade in the species) to protect and recover certain species of endangered or threatened marine and coastal flora and fauna.

Under the LBS Protocol, the Contracting Parties committed to taking appropriate measures to prevent, reduce, and control pollution of the Wider Caribbean Region from land-based sources and activities, through the use of the best practical means available, and in accordance with each country’s capabilities. To achieve this aim, the Contracting Parties agreed to develop and implement national, sub-regional, and regional plans. The Contracting Parties also agreed to cooperate in a number of areas, including monitoring activities, research and development of relevant technologies and practices, and exchange of scientific and technical information. The Annexes to the LBS Protocol identify priority source categories and primary pollutants that are of particular concern.

The LBS Protocol further requires the Contracting Parties to develop and adopt guidelines regarding environmental impact assessments. For example, if a Contracting Party has reasonable grounds to believe that a planned land-based activity in its territory will likely generate substantial pollution or significant and harmful changes to the Convention Area, the LBS Protocol requires that Contracting Party to review the potential effects of the activity and to have the relevant government authorities consider that review when deciding whether to permit the activity.

The CEP has three main sub-programs that function in the Convention Area: the Assessment and Management of Environmental Pollution Program (“AMEP”), the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife Program (“SPAW”), and the Communication, Education, Training and Awareness Program (“CETA”).

  • AMEP involves work on assessing and managing environmental pollution, as well as providing regional coordination for the implementation of the Oil Spills and LBS Protocols. It is focused on developing National Programs of Action for the Contracting Parties, environmental monitoring and assessment, integrated watershed management, sewage and wastewater management, integrated waste management, and oil spills planning. In terms of pollution issues, AMEP is concerned with heavy metals, solid waste and marine litter, nutrients, oils (hydrocarbons), persistent organic pollutants and pesticides, radioactive substances, wastewater, sewage and sanitation, and sedimentation and erosion. AMEP is also responsible for implementing certain global environmental agreements (such as the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities, Agenda 21 (a United Nations-run program concerning sustainable development), and the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal) on the regional level.
  • The primary activities of the SPAW sub-program are protecting and conserving the Protected Areas and threatened and endangered species in the Wider Caribbean Region; developing guidelines to implement the SPAW Protocol, ensuring the conservation and sustainable use of coastal and marine ecosystems, and promoting sustainable tourism. In terms of marine and coastal issues, SPAW is focused on fisheries, invasive species, marine mammals, migratory birds, marine turtles, marine protected areas and related ecosystems, coral reefs, wetlands and mangroves, and seagrass beds. SPAW objectives also include: significantly increasing the number of national protected areas and species in the region and improving their management; strengthening regional capability in regards to the coordination of information exchange and training and technical assistance for national biodiversity conservation efforts; coordinating activities with the Secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as other biodiversity-related treaties such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the Convention on Migratory Species, and the Western Hemisphere Convention; and helping governments in the Wider Caribbean Region implement better practices in regards to the establishment and management of protected areas, protected species, fragile ecosystems, and sustainable coastal and marine tourism.
  • CETA is focused on: strengthening educational systems, with the aim of promoting a greater understanding of the importance of the marine and coastal resources; developing and implementing national and regional technical and managerial training programs to be used by people with responsibility over the use and management of the region’s marine and coastal resources; promoting public awareness campaigns by the media, other private sector entities, community-based organizations, and non-governmental organizations that would be intended to show the economic value of the region’s marine and coastal resources; improving the CEP websites (as well as other networking mechanisms and database developments) in order to increase access to information about the region’s marine and coastal resources; distributing information on the CEP’s projects and activities; and supporting the CEP’s regional subprograms in regards to communication, education, training and awareness information management related to the implementation of the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols, as well as providing assistance concerning data access, information management, and the development and maintenance of a knowledge network.

Under Article 15 of the Cartagena Convention, the UNEP is designated to carry out the secretariat functions of the Convention. These functions, which are carried out in practice by the CAR/RCU, include: preparing and convening the meetings and conferences for the Contracting Parties; disseminating relevant information to the Contracting Parties (such as information on bilateral or multilateral agreements for the protection of the marine environment in the Convention Area that are signed by any of the Contracting Parties, alerts concerning pollutions emergencies, and measures adopted by the Contracting Parties to implement the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols); performing the tasks assigned by the Protocols; consulting with the Contracting Parties on questions related to the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols; coordinating the implementation of cooperative activities among the Contracting Parties; and establishing relationships with other relevant international bodies. The CAR/RCU is also responsible for providing assistance to the countries in the region, strengthening national and subregional institutions, coordinating international assistance, and fostering technical cooperating among countries. Each Contracting Party is required to designate a representative to serve as its channel of communication with CAR/RCU concerning the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols.

The Contracting Parties must hold ordinary Intergovernmental Meetings once every two years, and may hold extraordinary meetings at any other time with the support of a majority of the Contracting Parties. These meetings are intended to review the implementation of the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols, including, inter alia, assessing the state of the environment in the Convention Area, evaluating the measures taken by the Contracting Parties to implement the Convention and its Protocols, and reviewing cooperative activities to be undertaken within the framework of the Convention and its Protocols. The Contracting Parties may also establish working groups, as needed, to consider issues concerning the Convention and its Protocols. In addition, the Contracting Parties approve biennium work plans and budgets at these meetings. A Monitoring Committee and Bureau of Contracting Parties is responsible for supervising program developments and provides policy direction in between the Intergovernmental Meetings.

The Oil Spills Protocol designated the UNEP – through the CAR/RCU and the International Maritime Organization – to assist the Contracting Parties in developing and maintaining their contingency plans, to publicize training courses and programs, to coordinate regional emergency response activities, and to provide a forum for discussion. In addition, the CAR/RCU is responsible for establishing and maintaining liaisons with relevant regional and international organizations and private entities (such as major oil producers, refiners, transporters, etc.); developing an inventory of emergency response equipment, materials and expertise available in the Wider Caribbean Region; distributing information related to preventing and combating oil spills; maintaining means for emergency response communications; promoting research on oil spill-related matters; supporting the Contracting Parties in exchanging information; and preparing relevant reports and performing any other tasks as may be required. Ordinary meetings of the Contracting Parties to the Oil Spills Protocol are held in conjunction with the Intergovernmental Meeting of the Cartagena Convention and are intended to review the operation of the Oil Spills Protocol and to consider special technical arrangements and other measures to improve the Protocol’s effectiveness.

The SPAW Protocol established a Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee to advise the Contracting Parties on matters related to the listing of protected areas and species; the management and protection of protected areas and species and their habitats; environmental impact assessments; the establishment of common guidelines and criteria related to protected areas and species; proposals for technical assistance for training, research, education, and management; and any other matters related to the implementation of the SPAW Protocol. Each Contracting Party is entitled to appoint an appropriately qualified scientific expert, who may be accompanied by other appointed experts and advisors, to serve as its representative on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee. As with the Oil Spills Protocol, the CAR/RCU is also designated to carry out the secretariat functions for the SPAW Protocol. The SPAW Protocol’s ordinary meetings are held in conjunction with the Intergovernmental Meeting of the Cartagena Convention and are intended to review and direct the implementation of the Protocol. The ordinary meetings are also intended to serve as a forum to evaluate the effectiveness of measures adopted regarding the management and protection of areas and species, as well as to monitor and promote the development of networks of protected areas and recovery plans for protected species.

Like the SPAW Protocol, the LBS Protocol establishes a Scientific, Technical, and Advisory Committee to which each Contracting Party may appoint an expert as its representative, who may be accompanied by other designated advisors. The Scientific, Technical, and Advisory Committee will be responsible for, inter alia: evaluating the Convention Area in terms of land-based pollution sources and activities; reviewing the effectiveness of the measures that would be taken to implement the Protocol; assisting Contracting Parties in developing programs to implement the Protocol and assessing pollution loads in the Convention Area; advising on the development of common criteria for the prevention, reduction, and control of pollution from land-based sources and activities in the Convention Area; recommending priority measures for scientific and technical research and management; developing relevant programs on environmental education and awareness; and performing other tasks that would be related to the implementation of the Protocol. As with the other Protocols, the LBS Protocol designates the CAR/RCU to carry out its secretariat functions and its ordinary meetings will also be held in conjunction with the Intergovernmental Meeting of the Cartagena Convention.


In addition to the role played by the CAR/RCU, the Contracting Parties also have the option of using Regional Activity Centres (“RACs”) and Regional Activity Networks (“RANs”) to coordinate and implement activities related to the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols. The RACs are financially-autonomous organizations with a regional focus that Contracting Parties designate to carry out specific technical functions and activities. There are currently 4 RACs: (1) the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Information and Training Center for the Wider Caribbean (which supports the Oil Spills Protocol); (2) the Centre of Engineering and Environmental Management of Coasts and Bays (which supports the LBS Protocol); (3) the Institute of Marine Affairs (which also supports the LBS Protocol); and (4) the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (which supports the SPAW Protocol). The RANs are networks of technical institutions (including governmental, intergovernmental, non-governmental, academic, and scientific) and individuals that provide scientific and technical input and expertise to the relevant RACs.

The CAR/RCU has also entered into a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity that contains provisions regarding institutional cooperation, exchange of information and experience, coordination of work programs, and joint conservation action between the two international organizations.


Generally, substantive decisions under the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols are taken by consensus among the Contracting Parties, although the Contracting Parties have yet to agree on the terms of the decision-making rule. Article 20 of the Cartagena Convention specifies that the Contracting Parties are required to unanimously adopt financial rules and procedural rules to govern their meetings.

Any amendment to the Cartagena Convention or its Protocols must be approved by a three-fourths majority vote of the Contracting Parties present at a conference of plenipotentiaries. After the amendment is approved, it will be submitted to the Depositary for acceptance by all of the Contracting Parties. Thirty days after three-fourths of the Contracting Parties of the relevant instrument have ratified the amendment, it will enter into force for the Contracting Parties that have accepted it.

To amend an annex, the amendment must be adopted at an Intergovernmental Meeting, or an extraordinary meeting, by a three-fourths majority vote of the Contracting Parties present. If a Contracting Party declines to accept the amendment to an annex, it must to notify the Depositary within ninety days of the adoption of the amendment. The amendment to the annex will then enter into force for all Contracting Parties to the Cartagena Convention or the relevant Protocol(s) that did not submit the required opposition notification. New annexes and amendments to the Annex on Arbitration follow the procedures listed for amendments to the Convention and its Protocols.


The Cartagena Convention calls upon the Contracting Parties to settle any disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention or its Protocols through negotiations or other peaceful means. If these means of dispute resolution fail, the parties may agree to submit the dispute to arbitration as set forth in the Annex to the Convention.

According to the Annex to the Cartagena Convention that governs the terms of arbitration, arbitral tribunals shall consist of three members. Each party to the dispute may appoint an arbitrator, and the arbitrators will, by agreement, designate a third arbitrator, who will serve as chairman of the tribunal. The chairman of the tribunal cannot be a national of either of the parties to the dispute. If a party refuses to appoint an arbitrator, or if appointed arbitrators cannot agree on a chairman, the Secretary General of the United Nations can appoint the arbitrator(s) necessary to constitute the tribunal. The arbitral tribunal must render its decision in accordance with international law and the provisions of the Cartagena Convention and the relevant Protocol(s). Decisions are made by majority vote. The tribunal must issue an award within five months of its constitution, unless it requires additional time in which case it may extend the time limit for up to five additional months. The decision of the arbitral tribunal is final and binding upon the parties to the dispute.


In Article 13 of the Cartagena Convention, the Contracting Parties agreed to cooperate, both with each other and with relevant international and regional organizations, in “scientific research, monitoring, and the exchange of data and other scientific information relating to the purposes of th[e] Convention.” In addition, Article 17 of the SPAW Protocol calls upon the Contracting Parties to develop “scientific, technical and management-oriented research” on protected areas and threatened or endangered species and their habitats. Contracting Parties are also encouraged to consult with one other and with relevant organizations to identify protected areas and specifies and to conduct research and monitoring programs to protect them; to assess the effectiveness of measures enacted to implement management and recovery plans; to exchange information on and coordinate research and monitoring programs; and to standardize the procedures used for collecting, reporting, archiving, and analyzing scientific and technical information. The CAR/RCU is also intended to serve as a forum for collecting, reviewing, and distributing information on relevant studies, publications, and the results of work conducted under the framework of the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols.

The CEP manages and/or contributes to numerous databases related to the marine and coastal environment in the Wider Caribbean Region. The SPAW Species Database, which is hosted and maintained by the CEP, contains both taxonomic information and distribution data on protected species of marine and coastal flora and fauna. Other relevant databases include: the Caribbean Marine Protected Area (MPA) (information on protected coastal areas in 34 countries and territories); the Marine Litter Database; the Global Environment Facility Integrating Watershed and Coastal Areas Management in Caribbean Small Island Developing States Project Databases (GEF-IWCAM); INFOTERRA (the UNEP global environmental information exchange network); and UNEP State of the Environment Reports (SOER) (information on the environmental health of countries and regions). The Contracting Parties also agreed to develop information systems and networks to promote the exchange of information and facilitate the implementation of the LBS Protocol.


Contracting Parties are obligated to submit information to the CAR/RCU concerning the measures that they have adopted to implement the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols. In addition, Article 11(2) of the Convention and Article 5 of the Oil Spills Protocol create parallel notification requirements. Article 11(2) of the Cartagena Convention provides: “When a Contracting Party becomes aware of cases in which the Convention area is in imminent danger of being polluted or has been polluted, it shall immediately notify other States likely to be affected by such pollution, as well as the competent international organizations.” Similarly, Article 5 of the Oil Spills Protocol requires the Contracting Parties to establish reporting procedures to ensure that oil spills are reported as rapidly as possible. Following an oil spill, a Contracting Party must immediately notify all other Contracting Parties whose interests would likely be affected, the flag State of any ship involved, and the competent international organizations. The Contracting Party must also follow-up with the Contracting States and international organizations regarding the measures taken to minimize or reduce the threat of the pollution.


The main sources of program funding for the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols are the Global Environment Facility (“GEF”), the Caribbean Trust Fund (“CTF”), and other sources such as the non-member governments that may finance specific projects and activities. The CTF, which consists of voluntary contributions from the Contracting Parties, was established in 1983 to finance the implementation of CEP programs. These voluntary contributions vary widely; in 2009, they ranged from $3,430 (Montserrat and St. Kitts-Nevis) to $13,917 (Guatemala and Panama) to $291,598 (France), with a wide range of values in between. But the CTF constitutes only a fraction of the total program funding. In 2010, the proposed budget was US $16.7 million, with US $1.8 million in contributions from the CTF, US $9.5 million in secured funding from other sources for specific programs and activities, and US $5.4 million that still needed to be mobilized from other sources.

The SPAW and LBS Protocols provide that the UNEP may seek additional funds or other forms of assistance, including voluntary contributions from the Contracting Parties, other governments and governmental agencies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and individuals. Additional funds have come from GEF projects in the region and from the Swedish International Development Agency, among other sources.


No specific provision, but the goal of the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols is to improve and protect the marine and coastal environment of the Wider Caribbean Region for the benefit of all the countries and individuals in the region.


Before the Contracting Parties’ biannual meetings, different bodies of the CEP submit reports detailing their activities over the previous two-year period and/or analyzing the effectiveness of programs and activities. For example, in preparation for the 2010 Intergovernmental Meeting, the Steering Committee to the Oil Spills Protocol, the Interim Scientific, Technical, and Advisory Committee to the LBS Protocol, the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee to the SPAW Protocol, and the Regional Activity Centres, among others, submitted reports. The Executive Secretary of the Cartagena Convention also regularly produces a report on the implementation of the biennial work program for the CEP.

Under Article 13 of the Cartagena Convention, the Contracting Parties agreed to cooperate, both directly and through relevant international and regional organizations, in regards to monitoring programs. The Contracting Parties also committed to developing and coordinating their monitoring programs related to the Convention Area, and to seek to participate in international arrangements concerning pollution monitoring.

Furthermore, under the SPAW Protocol, the Contracting Parties are authorized to consult with each other, and with relevant regional and international organizations, in order to establish monitoring programs concerning protected areas and species (and, along with scientific and technical research, to use these programs to assess the effectiveness of measures undertaken to implement management and recovery plans). The Contracting Parties also committed to exchanging information regarding their monitoring programs.

Article VI of the LBS Protocol also calls upon the Contracting Parties to implement appropriate monitoring programs in order to systematically identify and evaluate patterns and trends concerning the environmental quality of the Convention Area, as well as to analyze the effectiveness of measures undertaken to implement the LBS Protocol. These monitoring programs are supposed to avoid duplicating other programs, especially similar programs in the region that are already being carried out by international organizations.


The Draft Procedural Rules for the Cartagena Convention provide that parties other than the Contracting Parties may participate in meetings, but these other parties cannot be involved in the decision-making process. Non-Contracting Party participants include non-member states, the United Nations and its subsidiary bodies, and any international inter-governmental or non-governmental organization concerned with the protection and development of the marine environment of the Wider Caribbean Region.

In addition to the RACs and RANs (see Relationships), the CEP has partnered with various sectors of society (such as governments, non-governmental organizations, media, youth groups, the private sector, civil society, and the scientific community) to implement programs and activities under the framework of the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols. Some of these partners include, among others, the Association of Caribbean States, the Canadian International Development Agency, the Caribbean Development Bank, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Global Environmental Facility, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Ocean Conservancy, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. These project partners provide funding, technical expertise, or other resources. For example, one of the projects in the 2008-2009 biennium work plan involved a regional oil spill exercise and Caribbean workshop to develop a regional cooperation mechanism for responding to oil spills. Project partners who provided technical expertise and coordination support included the Regional Association of Oil and Natural Gas Companies in Latin America and the Caribbean (ARPEL), Clean Caribbean and Americas, Centre of Documentation, Research, and Experimentation on Accidental Water Pollution (Cedre), the International Oil Compensation Fund (IOPC), and the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited (IOPC).

The CaMPAM Network and Forum, part of the SPAW sub-program, is intended to promote capacity building for the Marine Protected Areas in the Wider Caribbean Region. In addition to the CEP, partners in CaMPAM include the Nature Conservancy, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Ocean Service and National Marine Fisheries Service. CaMPAM’s activities include training of trainers for Marine Protected Area Managers, hosting regional training workshops, operating a small grants fund, promoting sustainable fishing practices and alternative livelihoods for fishermen, exchanging lessons between the Marine Protected Areas, administering the Marine Protected Areas Database, and providing resources for Marine Protected Area Managers.

Article X of the LBS Protocol also relates to participation. It requires the Contracting Parties to “promote public access to relevant information concerning pollution of the Convention Area from land-based sources and activities and the opportunity for public participation in decision-making processes concerning the implementation” of the LBS Protocol. To carry out this task, Article XI of the LBS Protocol charges the Contracting Parties with developing environmental education programs on the need to prevent, reduce, and control pollution of the Convention Area from land-based sources and activities and to train individuals in these tasks.


According to Article 29 of the Cartagena Convention, Contracting Parties may denounce the Convention or a Protocol anytime after two years from the date of entry into force of the relevant instrument for the particular Contracting Party. If a Contracting Party denounces the Cartagena Convention, it will also be considered to have denounced all of the Protocols to which it was a party. And a Contracting Party is considered to have denounced the Convention itself if, “upon its denunciation of a protocol, [it] is no longer a Contracting Party to any protocol of th[e] Convention.


The CEP originated from the 1981 Action Plan for the Caribbean Environment Programme, which was coordinated by the UNEP and adopted by the 22 governments that participated in the first Intergovernmental Meeting. The major components of the Action Plan were: “(a) Environmental Assessment and Management, (b) Education, Training and Development of Human Resources, and (c) Supporting Measures (including institutional and financial arrangements).” The Cartagena Convention was adopted in 1983, providing the CEP with a regional legal framework.

As a complement to the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols, GEF is also conducting numerous projects in the Wider Caribbean Region, four of which are described below. The GEF-Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem Project, which commenced on 1 May 2009, aims to form a consensus among countries and communities in the region to improve the management and promote the sustainability of shared marine resources through an integrated management approach.

Another GEF partnership project is the Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (“CReW”), which GEF seeks to establish jointly with UNEP and the Inter-American Development Bank. The CReW is currently pending internal GEF approval. It seeks to combat the degradation of the Caribbean marine environment caused by the discharge of untreated wastewater by serving as a pilot project on the development and financing of wastewater projects in the region and the promotion of relevant policy reforms.

The 2004 GEF Integrating Watershed and Coastal Area Management in the Small Island Developing States Project is another partnership project sponsored by GEF. The United Nations Development Programme and UNEP are the project implementing agencies, and CAR/RCU and the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute are the project executing agencies. The project is focused on enhancing the capacity of participating countries to sustainably manage their aquatic resources and ecosystems and on strengthening integrated freshwater basin-coastal area management.

The fourth GEF project of note is the Reducing Pesticide Runoff to the Caribbean Sea Project (“REPCar”). The REPCar Project is a vehicle through which UNEP and GEF collaborate to mitigate the impact of runoff from pesticide use in Colombia, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua through management practices and specific measures designed to control the use and application of pesticides in agriculture.


See

  • Caribbean Environment Programme, available at http://www.cep.unep.org/.
  • Report of the Meeting, Thirteenth Intergovernmental Meeting of the Action Plan for the Caribbean Environment Programme and Tenth Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, 12 Sept. 2008, available at http://www.cep.unep.org/meetings-events/13th-igm-1/igm13/IG28-4en.pdf.
  • Report of the Executive Director of the Cartagena Convention on the Implementation of the 2008-2009 Work Plan of the Caribbean Environment Programme, 27 Sept. 2010, available at http://www.cep.unep.org/meetings-events/14th-igm/unep-depi-_car-ig-30_inf-4.pdf.
  • The Caribbean Environment Programme 1981-2006, Twelfth Intergovernmental Meeting on the Action Plan for the Caribbean Environment Programme and the Ninth Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, 29 Nov. - 2 Dec. 2006, available at http://www.cep.unep.org/meetings-events/12th-igm/12th%20IGM/IG26-inf7en.pdf.
  • Benedict Sheehy, International Marine Environment Law: A Case Study in the Wider Caribbean Region, 16 GEO. INT’L ENVTL. L.REV. 441 (2003-2004).
  • Alessandra Vanzella-Khouri, Implementation of the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) in the Wider Caribbean Region, 30 U. MIAMI INTER-AM. L. REV. 53 (1998-1999).
  • Charlotte de Fontaubert and Tundi Agardy, Critical Analysis of the SPAW Protocol: The Dilemma of Regional Cooperation, 30 U. MIAMI INTER-AM. L. REV. 85 (1998-1999).

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