FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Regional Government pollution experts meet in panama
The gathering of experts for the 5th Meeting of the Interim Scientific, Technical and Advisory Committee (ISTAC) to the Protocol concerning Pollution from land-based sources, commonly known as the LBS Protocol will last for five days. The CEP is the Secretariat for this Protocol and is based in Kingston, Jamaica.
The LBS Protocol is one of three agreements under the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment (the Cartagena Convention). It establishes regional guidelines and standards for reducing the impact of pollution on the coastal and marine environment, and on human health. Over 80% of the pollution of the marine environment of the Wider Caribbean is estimated to originate from land based sources and activities.
Panama, the host country, is one of only six countries to have ratified the LBS Protocol. The others are Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Saint Lucia, France and the US. Discussions during the meeting will focus on measures to increase the region’s commitment to ratify the Protocol, and have it enter into force and become international law as soon as possible.
In support of regional cooperation, UNEP CEP is partnering with the IMO and their joint Regional Activity Centre for Oil Spills (RAC REMPEITC) to bring together experts from environmental agencies, maritime authorities and port administrations for this 5th LBS ISTAC.
Delegates are expected to identify practical measures to improve the implementation of marine environmental agreements including the IMO London Convention on the control of pollution from dumping of wastes at sea and the MARPOL Convention on the prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships.
According to Nelson Andrade, Coordinator’s of UNEP CEP, “it is vital that Governments adopt a more integrated approach to reducing pollution from land and marine based sources”. He noted that the continued partnership between UNEP and IMO will help to effectively implement the Cartagena Convention and its three Protocols and to reduce marine contamination.
Meeting Participants are also expected to review recent achievements of the UNEP CEP to reduce and control marine pollution and to endorse a new work plan and budget for 2010-2011.