Learn about the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols.

Our office in Kingston, Jamaica is the Secretariat to the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols.

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Status of Ratification

The Cartagena Convention has been ratified by 25 United Nations Member States in the Wider Caribbean Region. It covers the marine environment of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the areas of the Atlantic Ocean adjacent thereto, south of 30 north latitude and within 200 nautical miles of the Atlantic Coasts of the States.

Ratification Map for the Cartagena Convention and Oil Spills Protocol

Ratification Map for the LBS or Pollution Protocol

Ratification Map for the SPAW or Marine Biodiversity Protocol

Scroll down to view a List of Countries and Dates of Ratification for the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols.  

The process for ratification can be reviewed here

What is the Cartagena Convention?

The Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) or Cartagena Convention is a regional legal agreement for the protection of the Caribbean Sea. 

The Convention was adopted in Cartagena, Colombia on 24 March 1983 and entered into force on 11 October 1986.

The Convention is supported by three technical agreements or Protocols on Oil Spills, Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) and Land Based Sources of Marine Pollution (LBS).

  1. The Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean Region was adopted in 1983 and entered into force on 11 October 1986.
  2. The Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) in the Wider Caribbean Region was adopted on 18 January 1990 and entered into force on 18 June 2000.
  3. The Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities was adopted on 6 October 1999 and entered into force on 13 August 2010.

The Regional Coordinating Unit (UNEP-CAR/RCU) was established in 1986 in Kingston, Jamaica and is the Secretariat to the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols. 

What are Regional Activity Centres?

Each Protocol of the Cartagena Convention is served by one or more Regional Activity Centres (RACs). These centres are based in:

  • Curacao (Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Information and Training Centre for the Wider Caribbean, RAC REMPEITC Caribe) for the Oil Spills Protocol;
  • Guadeloupe (SPAW-RAC) for the Marine Biodiversity or SPAW Protocol;
  • Cuba (Centre of Engineering and Environmental Management of Coasts and Bays) for the Pollution or LBS Protocol;
  • Trinidad and Tobago (Institute of Marine Affairs), also for the Pollution or LBS Protocol.

These centres provide technical support and expertise to assist Contracting Parties in meeting their obligations to the Convention and its Protocols. Other regional agencies provide additional technical assistance as part of a Regional Activity Network (RAN).

What does the Cartagena Convention focus on?

The Convention covers several aspects of marine pollution for which the Contracting Parties must adopt specific measures. These measures include to prevent, reduce and control: 

  • pollution from ships
  • pollution caused by dumping
  • pollution from sea-bed activities
  • airborne pollution
  • pollution from land-based sources and activities

Countries who are Contracting Parties to the Convention are also required to:

  • protect and preserve rare or fragile ecosystems and habitats of depleted, threatened or endangered species; and
  • develop technical and other guidelines for the planning and environmental impact assessments of important development projects.

Cartagena Convention and Global Environmental Agreements

The Cartagena Convention works in support of other global environmental conventions, agreements and commitments such as:

UN Environment Agreements

  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)
  • RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
  • Stockholm Convention on chemicals management
  • Basel Convention on hazardous waste

International Maritime Organization (IMO) Agreements

  • MARPOL Convention on ship-generated wastes
  • Ballast Water Convention
  • London Convention 

Global Agreements and Commitments

  • Agenda 21
  • Barbados Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Programme of Action
  • Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI)
  • RIO + 20
  • Samoa Outcome for Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
  • Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA)
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Legal Documents

Cartagena Convention Booklet

Download PDF file in Englishpdf-es.png/image_previewpdf-fr.png/image_preview

 

Text of the Cartagena Convention:  En | Es | Fr  

File shell scriptLBS Protocol (English)  File shell scriptLBS Protocol (Spanish)  File C headerLBS Protocol (French) 

File shell scriptLBS Final Act (English) File shell scriptLBS Final Act (Spanish) File C headerLBS Final Act (French) 

File Microsoft Word DocumentModel Cabinet Memorandum for LBS Protocol Accession/Ratification 

File PDF documentLBS Protocol Overview

File shell scriptSPAW Protocol (English) File shell scriptSPAW Protocol (Spanish) File C headerSPAW Protocol(French) 

File PDF documentSPAW Protocol Overview

Status of ratification of the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols
(please scroll down for more information)

State

Date of Ratification or Accession

Cartagena Convention and

Oil Spills Protocol

SPAW
Protocol

LBS
Protocol

Antigua and Barbuda

11-Sep-86

 

13-July-10

The Bahamas

24-Jun-10

24-Jun-10 

24-Jun-10

Barbados

28-May-85

14-Oct-02

 

Belize

22-Sep-99

04-Jan-08 04-Feb-08

Colombia

03-Mar-88

05-Jan-98

 

Costa Rica

01-Aug-91

 

26-May-16 

Cuba

15-Sep-88

04-Aug-98

 

Dominica

05-Oct-90

 

 

Dominican Republic

24-Nov-98

24-Nov-98

06-Sept-12 

France

13-Nov-85

05-Apr-02

04-May-07

Grenada

17-Aug-87

05-Mar-12

05-Mar 12

Guatemala

18-Dec-89

 

 

Guyana

14-July-10

14-July-10

14-July-10

Haiti

 

 

 

Honduras

 

 

 

Jamaica

01-Apr-87

 

5-Nov-15 

Mexico

11-Apr-85

 

 

Netherlands

16-Apr-84

02-Mar-92

 

Nicaragua

25-Aug-05

 

 

Panama

06-Nov-87

27-Sep-96

09-Jul-03

St. Kitts and Nevis

15-Jun-99

 

 

Saint Lucia

30-Nov-84

18-May-00

30-Jan-08

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

11-Jul-90

26-Jul-91

 

Suriname

 

 

 

Trinidad and Tobago

24-Jan-86

10-Aug-99

28-Mar-03

United Kingdom

28-Feb-86

 

 

United States of America

31-Oct-84

 16-Apr-03

13-Feb-09

Venezuela

18-Dec-86

28-Jan-97

 

European Economic Commission

 

 

 

Last Updated: March 2017
N.B. The International Treaties Group updates this information periodically on the website of the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This can be accessed at: http://www.cancilleria.gov.co/juridicainternacional/tratados/depositarios