|Adopted at Aruba on 6 October 1999|
The Final Act of the Conference of Plenipotentiaries to adopt the Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities in the Wider Caribbean Region
The Contracting Parties to this Protocol,
|Being Parties to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine
Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, done at Cartagena de Indias on 24 March
Resolved, therefore, to implement the Convention and specifically Article 7,
Taking note of Article 4, paragraph 4 of the Convention,
Considering the principles of the Rio Declaration and Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 adopted by the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), and the Programme of Action for the Small Islands Developing States (Barbados, 1994), as well as the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (Washington, 1995), including the illustrative list of funding sources set forth in its Annex,
Recalling the relevant rules of international law as reflected in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and in particular its Part XII,
Conscious of the serious threat to the marine and coastal resources and to human health in the Wider Caribbean Region posed by pollution from land-based sources and activities,
Aware of the ecological, economic, aesthetic, scientific, recreational and cultural value of the marine and coastal ecosystems of the Wider Caribbean Region,
Recognising the inequalities in economic and social development among the countries of the Wider Caribbean Region and their needs for the achievement of sustainable development,
Determined to cooperate closely in taking the appropriate measures to protect the marine environment of the Wider Caribbean Region against pollution from land-based sources and activities,
Further recognising the need to encourage national, sub-regional and regional action through a national political commitment at the highest level, and international cooperation to deal with the problems posed by pollutants entering the Convention area from land-based sources and activities,
Have agreed as follows:
Article I Definitions
For the purposes of this Protocol:
Article II General Provisions
Article III General Obligations
Article IV Annexes
Article V Cooperation and Assistance
Article VI Monitoring and Assessment Programmes
Article VII Environmental Impact Assessment
Each Contracting Party shall, subject to its domestic law and regulations, seek the participation of affected persons in any review process conducted pursuant to paragraph 2 above, and, where practicable, publish or make available relevant information obtained in this review.
Article VIII Development of Information Systems
The Contracting Parties shall cooperate directly or through relevant sub-regional, regional and, where appropriate, global organisations to develop information systems and networks for the exchange of information to facilitate the implementation of this Protocol.
Article IX Transboundary Pollution
Where pollution from land-based sources and activities originating from any Contracting Party is likely to affect adversely the coastal or marine environment of one or more of the other Contracting Parties, the Contracting Parties concerned shall use their best efforts to consult at the request of any affected Contracting Party, with a view to resolving the issue.
Article X Participation
Each Contracting Party shall, in accordance with its national laws and regulations, promote public access to relevant information and documentation 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 this Protocol.
Article XI Education and Awareness
The Contracting Parties shall develop and implement individually and collectively programmes on environmental education and awareness for the public related to the need to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the Convention area from land-based sources and activities, and shall promote the training of individuals involved in such prevention, reduction and control.
Article XII Reporting
Article XIII Institutional Mechanisms
Article XIV Scientific, Technical and Advisory Committee
Article XV Meetings of the Contracting Parties
Article XVI Funding
Article XVII Adoption and Entry into Force of New Annexes and Amendments to Annexes
Article XVIII Ratification, Acceptance, Approval and Accession
Article XIX Signature
This Protocol shall be open for signature at Oranjestad, Aruba on 6 October 1999, and at Santa Fe de Bogotá, Republic of Colombia, from 7 October 1999 to 6 October 2000, by any Party to the Convention.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized by their respective governments, have signed this Protocol.
DONE AT Oranjestad, Aruba, this 6 October 1999, in a single copy in the English, French and Spanish languages, the three texts being equally authentic.
ANNEX I Source Categories, Activities and Associated Pollutants of Concern
For the purposes of subsequent Annexes:
- "Point Sources" means sources where the discharges and releases are introduced into the environment from any discernable, confined and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to pipes, channels, ditches, tunnels, conduits or wells from which pollutants are or may be discharged; and
- "Non-Point Sources" means sources, other than point sources, from which substances enter the environment as a result of land run-off, precipitation, atmospheric deposition, drainage, seepage or by hydrologic modification.
B. Priority Source Categories and Activities Affecting the Convention Area
The Contracting Parties shall take into account the following priority source categories and activities when formulating regional and, as appropriate, sub-regional plans, programmes and measures for the prevention, reduction and control of pollution of the Convention area:
Agricultural Non-Point Sources
Extractive Industries and Mining
Food Processing Operations
Manufacture of Liquor and Soft Drinks
Pulp and Paper Factories
Sugar Factories and Distilleries
Intensive Animal Rearing Operations
C. Associated Pollutants of Concern
1. Primary Pollutants of Concern
The Contracting Parties shall consider, taking into account the recommendations and other work of relevant international organisations, the following list of pollutants of concern, which were identified on the basis of their hazardous or otherwise harmful characteristics, when formulating effluent and emission limitations and management practices for the sources and activities in this Annex:
- Organohalogen compounds and substances which could result in the formation of these compounds in the marine environment;
- Organophosphorus compounds and substances which could result in the formation of these compounds in the marine environment;
- Organotin compounds and substances which could result in the formation of these compounds in the marine environment;
- Heavy metals and their compounds;
- Crude petroleum and hydrocarbons;
- Used lubricating oils;
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons;
- Biocides and their derivatives;
- Pathogenic micro-organisms;
- Cyanides and fluorides;
- Detergents and other non-biodegradable surface tension substances;
- Nitrogen and phosphorus compounds;
- Persistent synthetic and other materials, including garbage, that float, flow or remain in suspension or settle to the bottom and affect marine life and hamper the uses of the sea;
- Compounds with hormone-like effects;
- Radioactive substances;
- Sediments; and
- Any other substance or group of substances with one or more of the characteristics outlined in paragraph 2 below.
2. Characteristics and Other Factors To Be Considered in Evaluating Additional Pollutants of Concern
The Contracting Parties should, taking into account the recommendations and other work of relevant international organisations, consider the following characteristics and factors, where relevant, in evaluating potential pollutants of concern other than those listed in paragraph 1 above:
- Toxicity or other harmful properties (for example, carcinogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic properties);
- Potential for causing eutrophication;
- Impact on, and risks to, health;
- Potential for migration;
- Effects at the transboundary level;
- Risk of undesirable changes in the marine ecosystem, irreversibility or durability of effects;
- Negative impacts on marine life and the sustainable development of living resources or on other legitimate uses of the seas; and
- Effects on the taste or smell of marine products intended for human consumption or effects on the smell, colour, transparency or other characteristics of the water in the marine environment.
ANNEX II Factors To Be Used in Determining Effluent and Emission Source Controls and Management Factors
A. The Contracting Parties, when developing sub-regional and regional source-specific effluent and emission limitations and management practices pursuant to Article IV of this Protocol, shall evaluate and consider the following factors:
- Characteristics and Composition of the Waste
- Type and size of waste source (for example, industrial process);
- Type and form of waste (origin, physical, chemical and biological properties, average composition);
- Physical state of waste (solid, liquid, sludge, slurry);
- Total quantity (units discharged, for example, per year or per day);
- Discharge frequency (continuous, intermittent, seasonally variable, etc.);
- Concentration with respect to major constituents contained in the wastes emanating from the source or activity; and
- Interaction with the receiving environment.
- Characteristics of the Activity or Source Category
- Performance of existing technologies and management practices, including indigenous technologies and management practices;
- Age of facilities, as appropriate; and
- Existing economic, social and cultural characteristics.
- Alternative Production, Waste Treatment Technologies or Management Practices
- Recycling, recovery and reuse opportunities;
- Less hazardous or non-hazardous raw material substitution;
- Substitution of cleaner alternative activities or products;
- Economic, social and cultural impacts of alternatives, activities or products;
- Low-waste or totally clean technologies or processes; and
- Alternative disposal activities (for example, land application).
B. Pursuant to Article IV of this Protocol, each Contracting Party shall, at a minimum, apply the effluent and emission source controls and management practices set out in subsequent annexes. A Contracting Party may impose more stringent source controls or management practices. To determine if more stringent limitations are appropriate, a Contracting Party should also take into account characteristics of the discharge site and receiving marine environment, including:
- Hydrographic, meteorological, geographical and topographical characteristics of the coastal areas;
- Location and type of the discharge (outfall, canal outlet, gullies, etc.) and its relation to sensitive areas (such as swimming areas, reef systems, sea grass beds, spawning, nursery and fishing areas, shellfish grounds and other areas that are particularly sensitive) and other discharges;
- Initial dilution achieved at the point of discharge into the receiving marine environment;
- Dispersion characteristics (due to currents, tides and wind) that may affect the horizontal transport and vertical mixing of the affected waters;
- Receiving water characteristics with respect to the physical, chemical, biological and ecological conditions in the discharge area; and
- Capacity of the receiving marine environment to assimilate waste discharges.
C. The Contracting Parties shall keep the source controls and management practices set out in subsequent annexes under review. They shall consider that:
- If the reduction of inputs resulting from the use of the effluent and emission limitations and management practices established in accordance with this Annex do not lead to environmentally acceptable results, the effluent and emission limitations or management practices may need to be revised; and
- The appropriate effluent and emission limitations and management practices for a particular source or activity may change with time in light of technological advances, economic and social factors, as well as changes in scientific knowledge and understanding.
ANNEX III Domestic Wastewater
For the purposes of this Annex:
- "Domestic wastewater" means all discharges from households, commercial facilities, hotels, septage and any other entity whose discharge includes the following:
- Toilet flushing (black water);
- Discharges from showers, wash basins, kitchens and laundries (grey water); or
- Discharges from small industries, provided their composition and quantity are compatible with treatment in a domestic wastewater system.
Small quantities of industrial waste or processed wastewater may also be found in domestic wastewater. (See Part D - Industrial Pretreatment.
- "Class I waters" means waters in the Convention area that, due to inherent or unique environmental characteristics or fragile biological or ecological characteristics or human use, are particularly sensitive to the impacts of domestic wastewater. Class I waters include, but are not limited to:
- waters containing coral reefs, seagrass beds, or mangroves;
- critical breeding, nursery or forage areas for aquatic and terrestrial life;
- areas that provide habitat for species protected under the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife to the Convention (the SPAW Protocol);
- protected areas listed in the SPAW Protocol; and
- waters used for recreation.
"Class II waters" means waters in the Convention area, other than Class I waters, that due to oceanographic, hydrologic, climatic or other factors are less sensitive to the impacts of domestic wastewater and where humans or living resources that are likely to be adversely affected by the discharges are not exposed to such discharges.
"Existing domestic wastewater systems" means, with respect to a particular Contracting Party, publicly or privately owned domestic wastewater collection systems, or collection and treatment systems, that were constructed prior to entry into force of this Annex for such Contracting Party.
"New domestic wastewater systems" means, with respect to a particular Contracting Party, publicly or privately owned domestic wastewater collection systems, or collection and treatment systems, that were constructed subsequent to entry into force of this Annex for such Contracting Party, and includes existing domestic wastewater systems which have been subject to substantial modifications after such entry into force.
"Household systems" means on-site domestic wastewater disposal systems for homes and small commercial businesses in areas of low population density, or where centralised collection and treatment systems of domestic wastewater are not economically or technologically feasible. Household systems include, but are not limited to, septic tanks and drain fields or mounds, holding tanks, latrines and bio-digesting toilets.
"Wastewater collection systems" means any collection or conveyance system designed to collect or channel domestic wastewater from multiple sources.
B. Discharge of Domestic Wastewater
- Each Contracting Party shall :
- Consistent with the provisions of this Annex, provide for the regulation of domestic wastewater discharging into, or adversely affecting, the Convention area;
- To the extent practicable, locate, design and construct domestic wastewater treatment facilities and outfalls such that any adverse effects on, or discharges into, Class I waters, are minimised;
- Encourage and promote domestic wastewater reuse that minimises or eliminates discharges into, or discharges that adversely affect, the Convention area;
- Promote the use of cleaner technologies to reduce discharges to a minimum, or to avoid adverse effects within the Convention area; and
- Develop plans to implement the obligations in this Annex, including, where appropriate, plans for obtaining financial assistance.
Each Contracting Party shall be entitled to use whatever technology or approach that it deems appropriate to meet the obligations specified in Part C of this Annex.
C. Effluent Limitations
Each Contracting Party shall ensure that domestic wastewater that discharges into, or adversely affects, the Convention area, is treated by a new or existing domestic wastewater system whose effluent achieves the effluent limitations specified below in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this Part, in accordance with the following timetable:
|Category||Effective Date of
(in years after entry into force for the
|All new domestic wastewatersystems|
|Existing domestic wastewater systems other than community wastewater systems|
|Communities with 10,000 - 50,000 inhabitants|
|Communities with more than 50,000 inhabitants already possessing wastewater collection systems|
|Communities with more than 50,000 inhabitants not possessing wastewater collection systems|
|All other communities except those relying exclusively on household systems|
|* Contracting Parties which decide to give higher priority to categories 4 and 5 may extend their obligations pursuant to category 3 to twenty (20) years (time frame established in category 6).|
1. Discharges into Class II Waters
Each Contracting Party shall ensure that domestic wastewater that discharges into, or adversely affects, Class II waters is treated by a new or existing domestic wastewater system whose effluent achieves the following effluent limitations based on a monthly average:
|Total Suspended Solids||150 mg/l*|
|Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD5)||150 mg/l|
|pH||5-10 pH units|
|Fats, Oil and Grease||50 mg/l|
|* Does not include algae from treatment ponds|
2. Discharges into Class I Waters
Each Contracting Party shall ensure that domestic wastewater that discharges into, or adversely affects, Class I waters is treated by a new or existing domestic wastewater system whose effluent achieves the following effluent limitations based on a monthly average:
|Total Suspended Solids||30 mg/l*|
|Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD5)||30 mg/l|
|pH||5-10 pH units|
|Fats, Oil and Grease||15 mg/l|
(Parties may meet effluent limitations either for faecal coliform or for E. coli (freshwater) and enterococci (saline water).)
|Faecal Coliform: 200 mpn/100 ml; or
a. E. coli: 126 organisms/100ml;
b. enterococci: 35 organisms/100 ml
|* Does not include algae from treatment ponds|
3. All Discharges
Each Contracting Party shall take into account the impact that total nitrogen and phosphorus and their compounds may have on the degradation of the Convention area and, to the extent practicable, take appropriate measures to control or reduce the amount of total nitrogen and phosphorus that is discharged into, or may adversely affect, the Convention area.
Each Party shall ensure that residual chlorine from domestic wastewater treatment systems is not discharged in concentrations or amounts that would be toxic to marine organisms that reside in or migrate to the Convention area.
D. Industrial Pretreatment
Each Contracting Party shall endeavour, in keeping with its economic capabilities, to develop and implement industrial pretreatment programmes to ensure that industrial discharges into new and existing domestic wastewater treatment systems:
- do not interfere with, damage or otherwise prevent domestic wastewater collection and treatment systems from meeting the effluent limitations specified in this Annex;
- do not endanger operations of, or populations in proximity to, collection and treatment systems through exposure to toxic and hazardous substances;
- do not contaminate sludges or other reusable products from wastewater treatment; and
- do not contain toxic pollutants in amounts toxic to human health and/or aquatic life.
Each Contracting Party shall endeavour to ensure that industrial pretreatment programmes include spill containment and contingency plans.
Each Contracting Party, within the scope of its capabilities, shall promote appropriate industrial wastewater management, such as the use of recirculation and closed loop systems, to eliminate or minimise wastewater discharges to domestic wastewater systems.
E. Household Systems
Each Contracting Party shall strive to, as expeditiously, economically and technologically feasible, in areas without sewage collection, ensure that household systems are constructed, operated and maintained to avoid contamination of surface or ground waters that are likely to adversely affect the Convention area.
For those household systems requiring septage pump out, each Contracting Party shall strive to ensure that the septage is treated through a domestic wastewater system or appropriate land application.
F. Management, Operations and Maintenance
Each Contracting Party shall ensure that new and existing domestic wastewater systems are properly managed and that system managers develop and implement training programmes for wastewater collection and treatment system operators. Managers and operators shall have access to operators manuals and technical support necessary for proper system operation.
Each Contracting Party shall provide for an evaluation of domestic wastewater systems by competent national authorities to assess compliance with national regulations.
G. Extension Period
- Any Contracting Party may, at least two years before the effective date of an obligation in categories 2, 3, 4 or 5 of the timetable in Part C above, submit to the Organisation a declaration that, with respect to such category, it is unable to achieve the effluent limitations set forth in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part C above in accordance with that timetable, provided that such Contracting Party:
- has developed action plans pursuant to Part B, paragraph 1(e);
- has achieved the effluent limitations for a subset of the discharges associated with those categories, or a reduction of at least 5 percent of total loading of pollutants associated with those categories; and
- has taken actions to achieve those effluent limitations, but has been unable to achieve those limitations due to a lack of financial or other capacity.
With respect to a Contracting Party that has submitted a declaration pursuant to paragraph 1 above, the effective date of an obligation in the timetable in Part C for categories 2, 3, 4 or 5 of that timetable shall be extended for a period of five years. The five-year period shall be extended for a maximum of one additional five-year period if the Contracting Party submits a new declaration prior to the expiration of the first period, and if it continues to meet the requirements set out in paragraph 1 above.
The Contracting Parties recognise that the complete fulfilment* of the obligations contained in this Annex will require the availability and accessibility of financial resources.
* In this context, the Spanish word "cumplimiento" that appears in the Spanish text shall have the meaning of the English word "fulfilment" and not "compliance".
ANNEX IV Agricultural Non-Point Sources of Pollution
For purposes of this Annex:
"Agricultural non-point sources of pollution" means non-point sources of pollution originating from the cultivation of crops and rearing of domesticated animals, excluding intensive animal rearing operations that would otherwise be defined as point sources; and
"Best management practices" means economical and achievable structural or non-structural measures designed to prevent, reduce or control the run-off of pollutants into the Convention area.
B. Plans for the Prevention, Reduction and Control of Agricultural Non-Point Sources of Pollution
Each Contracting Party shall, no later than five years after this Annex enters into force for it, formulate policies, plans and legal mechanisms for the prevention, reduction and control of pollution of the Convention area from agricultural non-point sources of pollution that may adversely affect the Convention area. Programmes shall be identified in such policies, plans and legal mechanisms to mitigate pollution of the Convention area from agricultural non-point sources of pollution, in particular, if these sources contain nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), pesticides, sediments, pathogens, solid waste or other such pollutants that may adversely affect the Convention area. Plans shall include inter alia the following elements:
- An evaluation and assessment of agricultural non-point sources of pollution that may adversely affect the Convention area, which may include:
- an estimation of loadings that may adversely affect the Convention area;
- an identification of associated environmental impacts and potential risks to human health;
- the evaluation of the existing administrative framework to manage agricultural non-point sources of pollution;
- an evaluation of existing best management practices and their effectiveness; and
- the establishment of monitoring programmes.
- Education, training and awareness programmes, which may include:
- the establishment and implementation of programmes for the agricultural sector and the general public to raise awareness of agricultural non-point sources of pollution and their impacts on the marine environment, public health and the economy;
- the establishment and implementation of programmes at all levels of education on the importance of the marine environment and the impact of pollution from agricultural activities;
- the establishment and implementation of training programmes for government agencies and the agricultural sector on the implementation of best management practices, including the development of guidance materials for agricultural workers on structural and non-structural best management practices, to prevent, reduce and control agricultural non-point sources of pollution; and
- the establishment of programmes to facilitate effective technology transfer and information exchange.
- The development and promotion of economic and non-economic incentive programmes to increase the use of best management practices to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the Convention area from agricultural non-point sources.
- An assessment and evaluation of legislative and policy measures, including a review of the adequacy of plans, policies and legal mechanisms directed toward the management of agricultural non-point sources and the development of a plan to implement such modifications as may be necessary to achieve best management practices.
Each Contracting Party shall report on its plans for prevention, reduction and control of pollution of the Convention area from agricultural non-point sources in accordance with Article XII of this Protocol.
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