About the Cartagena Convention

Text of the Cartagena Convention             Cartagena Convention Booklet, Cartagena Convention and its protocols
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The Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean Region is a comprehensive, umbrella agreement for the protection and development of the marine environment. This regional environmental convention provides the legal framework for cooperative regional and national actions in the WCR.

The Convention is supplemented by the Oil Spills Protocol, the SPAW Protocol and the LBS Protocol. Although the Contracting Parties designated UNEP-CAR/RCU as the Secretariat of the Cartagena Convention, Contracting Parties may use Regional Activity Centres (RACs) for the coordination and implementation of activities in support of the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols and Regional Activity Networks (RANs) for the provision of expertise.

The Cartagena Convention was adopted in Cartagena, Colombia on 24 March 1983 and entered into force on 11 October 1986, for the legal implementation of the Action Plan for the Caribbean Environment Programme.

The Convention is supplemented by three Protocols:

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

 

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The Cartagena Convention has been ratified by 25 United Nations Member States in the Wider Caribbean Region. Its area of application comprises 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.

The legal structure of the Convention is such that it covers the various aspects of marine pollution for which the Contracting Parties must adopt measures. Thus, the Convention requires the adoption of measures aimed at preventing, reducing and controlling pollution of the following areas:

  • pollution from ships

  • pollution caused by dumping

  • pollution from sea-bed activities

  • airborne pollution

  • pollution from land-based sources and activities


In addition, the Parties are required to take appropriate measures to protect and preserve rare or fragile ecosystems, as well as the habitat of depleted, threatened or endangered species and to develop technical and other guidelines for the planning and environmental impact assessments of important development projects in order to prevent or reduce harmful impacts on the area of application.

The Cartagena Convention is not the only Multilateral Environmental Agreement applicable in the region. Other applicable agreements include the Convention on Biological Diversity, MARPOL 73/78, the Basel Convention and others. However, its regional area of application makes it an important complement to other agreements.

 

Status of the Cartagena Convention and Protocols

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State

Cartagena Convention

Oil Spill

SPAW

LBS

Date of Signature

Ratified / Acceded

Date of Signature

Ratified / Acceded

Date of Signature

Ratified / Acceded

Date of Signature

Ratified / Acceded

Antigua and Barbuda

 

11-Sep-86

 

11-Sep-86

18-Jan-90

 

 

13-July-10

Bahamas

 

24-Jun-10

 

24-Jun-10

 

 

 

24-Jun-10

Barbados

05-Mar-84

28-May-85

05-Mar-84

28-May-85

 

14-Oct-02

 

 

Belize

 

22-Sep-99

 

22-Sep-99

 

04-Jan-08

 

04-Feb-08

Colombia

24-Mar-83

03-Mar-88

24-Mar-83

03-Mar-88

18-Jan-90

05-Jan-98

02-Oct-00

 

Costa Rica

 

01-Aug-91

 

01-Aug-91

 

 

06-Oct-99

 

Cuba

 

15-Sep-88

 

15-Sep-88

18-Jan-90

04-Aug-98

 

 

Dominica

 

05-Oct-90

 

05-Oct-90

 

 

 

 

Dominican Republic

 

24-Nov-98

 

24-Nov-98

 

24-Nov-98

03-Aug-00

06-Sept-12 

France

24-Mar-83

13-Nov-85

24-Mar-83

13-Nov-85

18-Jan-90

05-Apr-02

06-Oct-99

04-May-07

Grenada

24-Mar-83

17-Aug-87

24-Mar-83

17-Aug-87

 

05-Mar-12

 

05-Mar 12

Guatemala

05-Jul-83

18-Dec-89

05-Jul-83

18-Dec-89

18-Jan-90

 

 

 

Guyana

 

14-July-10

 

14-July-10

 

14-July-10

 

14-July-10

Haiti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honduras

24-Mar-83

 

24-Mar-83

 

 

 

 

 

Jamaica

24-Mar-83

01-Apr-87

24-Mar-83

01-Apr-87

18-Jan-90

 

 

 

Mexico

24-Mar-83

11-Apr-85

24-Mar-83

11-Apr-85

18-Jan-90

 

 

 

Netherlands

24-Mar-83

16-Apr-84

24-Mar-83

16-Apr-84

18-Jan-90

02-Mar-92

06-Oct-99

 

Nicaragua

24-Mar-83

25-Aug-05

24-Mar-83

25 Aug-05

 

 

 

 

Panama

24-Mar-83

06-Nov-87

24-Mar-83

06-Nov-87

16-Jan-91

27-Sep-96

 

09-Jul-03

St. Kitts and Nevis

 

15-Jun-99

 

15-Jun-99

 

 

 

 

Saint Lucia

24-Mar-83

30-Nov-84

24-Mar-83

30-Nov-84

18-Jan-90

18-May-00

30-Jan-08

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

 

11-Jul-90

 

11-Jul-90

 

26-Jul-91

 

 

Suriname

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trinidad and Tobago

 

24-Jan-86

 

24-Jan-86

18-Jan-90

10-Aug-99

 

28-Mar-03

United Kingdom

24-Mar-83

28-Feb-86

24-Mar-83

28-Feb-86

18-Jan-90

 

 

 

United States of America

24-Mar-83

31-Oct-84

24-Mar-83

31-Oct-84

18-Jan-90

 

06-Oct-99

13-Feb-09

Venezuela

24-Mar-83

18-Dec-86

24-Mar-83

18-Dec-86

18-Jan-90

28-Jan-97

 

 

European Economic Commission

24-Mar-83

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

N.B. The International Treaties Group updates this information periodically on the website of the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs which may be accessed using the following link: http://www.cancilleria.gov.co/juridicainternacional/tratados/depositarios