Honduras becomes latest country to ratify regional legal agreement to protect the Caribbean Sea

Honduras has become the 26th Country to ratify the Cartagena Convention

  • The Government of Honduras has become the 26th Country to ratify the Cartagena Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region;
  • The Cartagena Convention and its three Protocols on Oil Spills, Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife, and Land-Based Sources of Pollution is the only regional legally binding environmental treaty for the Wider Caribbean Region;
  • The Convention and its Protocols constitute a legal commitment by the participating governments to protect, develop and manage the use of their common coastal and marine resources;


Honduras has become the latest country to ratify the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols on Oil Spills  (Oil Spills Protocol), Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW Protocol) and Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities (LBS Protocol), This brings the number of Contracting Parties to 26 out of total of 28 possible members. This significant milestone took effect on 13 October 2018 and Honduras now joins other countries in the Wider Caribbean in their efforts to preserve and sustainably manage the use of the coastal and marine resources of the region.

The Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region (Cartagena Convention) promotes regional cooperation for the protection and sustainable development of the Caribbean Sea. Adopted in 1983 in Cartagena, Colombia, it entered into force in October 1986. The three technical Protocols on Oil Spills, Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) and Land-based Sources of Marine Pollution (LBS) support the Convention and outline specific obligations by Contracting Parties to protect and manage their common coastal and marine resources individually and jointly.

The Caribbean Environment Programme, as one of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Seas Programmes, serves as the Secretariat of the Cartagena Convention. Over the past 30 years,  this regional multilateral environment agreement  has addressed several coastal & marine environmental threats affecting the countries of the Wider Caribbean Region.

Dr. Lorna Inniss, Coordinator of the Jamaica based Secretariat for the Cartagena Convention said: “I congratulate the Government of Honduras. The ratification of the Cartagena Convention reaffirms the commitment of Honduras towards regional efforts for a sustainable Caribbean marine environment. Our region is highly dependent on its marine and coastal resources for the economic and social development of its peoples, and there is an urgent need to preserve our fragile and vulnerable marine assets  and to work together to prevent and reduce the threats caused by human activities. We welcome Honduras to this regional effort to protect the Caribbean marine environment.”

The Convention covers 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.

Honduras and other Contracting Parties to the Convention benefit from enhanced regional cooperation and coordination, support for achievement of regional and global environmental obligations and improved access to fi­nancial and technical assistance, research, education and capacity building.

As Governments of the Wider Caribbean Region explore new blue economy opportunities from the Caribbean Sea, it is hoped that other Governments in the region ratify the Convention and its Protocols in a continued demonstration of political commitment to environmental preservation and sustainable use of our critical coastal and marine resources ensuring economic, environmental and social sustainability.