Overview of the LBS Protocol
The Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities (LBS Protocol) to the Cartagena Convention was adopted in Oranjestad, Aruba, on 6 October 1999. 16 Contracting Parties to the Cartagena Convention signed the Final Act of the LBS Protocol. The Protocol entered into force on August 13, 2010.
The Protocol, as adopted, is the most significant agreement of its kind with the inclusion of regional effluent limitations for domestic wastewater (sewage) and requiring specific plans to address agricultural non-point sources. Specific schedules for implementation have also been included in the Protocol. In addition, the LBS Protocol sets the stage for the development and adoption of future annexes to address other priority sources and activities of pollution.
The main text of the Protocol sets forward general obligations and a legal framework for regional co-operation. The operative Annexes, describe the work that each Contracting Party must comply with, as well as to give direction to the development of regional actions.
- Annex I establishes a list of land-based sources and activities and their associated contaminants of greatest concern to the marine environment of the Wider Caribbean;
- Annex II outlines and establishes the process for developing regional standards and practices for the prevention, reduction, and control of the sources and activities identified in Annex I.
- Annex III establishes specific regional effluent limitations for domestic sewage; and
- Annex IV requires each Contracting Party to develop plans, programmes and other measures for the prevention, reduction and control of agricultural non-point sources, respectively.
The implementation of the Protocol and the development of future source-specific annexes will be determined by the Contracting Parties with assistance from a Scientific, Technical and Advisory Committee.
The LBS Protocol is a regional mechanism assisting the United Nations Member States in the Wider Caribbean Region to meet the goals and obligations of two international agreements: The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Global Plan of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA).
UNCLOS calls upon States to adopt laws and regulations to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from land-based sources.
The GPA highlights the need for action to reduce the pollutant load to the seas from land-based sources and activities. Both of these instruments emphasise the need to act at the regional level to address this problem.
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