CEP Intergovernmental Meetings were held on Dec 8-13, 2014 , Cartagena , Colombia

SPAW COP 8 Decisions now online.

To access the decisions of the 8th SPAW COP, click here.

To access the presentations click on the links below for the various meetings:-

In 1983 at Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, the nations of the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) adopted the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the WCR, also known as the Cartagena Convention. This was in response to growing concerns about the state of the marine environment and the vulnerability of the Caribbean Sea to pollution and habitat degradation. The seventies had been marked by a series of oil spills and other pollution incidents which highlighted the vulnerability of Caribbean ecosystems, economies and ways of life. It was recognized that urgent collective action was needed.

In response, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) in 1981 within the framework of its Regional Seas Programme. It was developed taking into consideration the importance and value of the WCR’s fragile and vulnerable coastal and marine ecosystems, including an abundance of mainly endemic flora and fauna. The trans-boundary nature of events such as oil spills at sea also underlined the need for more collaborative approaches and responses.

The Cartagena Convention was at the time, and remains, the first and only regionally binding treaty of its kind that seeks to protect and develop the marine environment of the WCR. It is both a legal and an implementing framework; an important instrument for sustainable development in the Region.It essentially outlines the threats to the continued development of the Caribbean Sea and the actions needed to help protect it. The Convention is supported by three protocols: the first deals with Oil Spills; the second is designed to conserve biodiversity (Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife); and the third addresses the problem of Land-based Sources of Marine Pollution (referred to as the LBS Protocol).

The United Nations Environment Programme Caribbean Regional Coordinating Unit (UNEP CAR RCU) is the Secretariat for the CEP and was established in Kingston, Jamaica in 1986, supported by the Jamaican government. UNEP CAR RCU works with a number of national and regional agencies as well as through its Centres hosted by Parties to the Convention: the Centre of Engineering and Environmental Management of Coasts and Bays (Cimab) in Cuba; the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) in Trinidad; the Regional Marine Maritime Pollution Emergency Information and Training Centre (REMPEITC-Caribe) in Curacao; and the Centre for Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW RAC) in Guadeloupe.

The work of CEP is funded through the Caribbean Trust Fund (CTF) which is made up of voluntary contributions from Caribbean Governments. In addition, special project funding comes from the Global Environment Facility, development agencies, non-governmental organizations,the private sector and special contributions from member and non-member countries.

Representatives of 22 countries met in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia from 8 - 13 December 2014, 30 years after the adoption of the Convention, to review progress and achievements of the Convention and its Protocols over the last two years (2013-14) in particular. The series of meetings that took place are indicative of the complexity of CEP’s work:

  • The Sixth Meeting of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC6) to the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW), 8 December 2014;
  • Eighth Meeting of the Contracting Parties (COP8) to the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW), 9 December 2014;
  • The Second Meeting of the Contracting Parties (COP2) to the Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities (LBS), 10 December, 2014;
  • The Sixteenth Intergovernmental Meeting on the Action Plan for the Caribbean Environment Programme (IGM16) and Thirteenth Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region (COP13), December 11-13, 2014.


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