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Caribbean Island OPRC Plan

Caribbean Island OPRC Plan

Under the Cartagena Convention (1983) for the protection and development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region and the Protocol concerning co-operation in combating oil spills in the Wider Caribbean Region, the Caribbean countries drafted a Sub-Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan for the Island States and Territories of the Wider Caribbean Region (St. Lucia, May 1984) the “Caribbean Plan”.

IMO, in co-operation with UNEP, has over the years played a Lead role in helping countries in the Wider Caribbean develop national and regional plans for marine pollution preparedness and response and measures related to prevention and control of marine pollution. The Caribbean Islands OPRC Contingency Plan, as an up-date of the “Caribbean Plan”, was adopted at a meeting convened by IMO (Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles, November 1992) which contributes to the implementation of the Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean Region (Oil Spill Protocol) as well as the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC Convention) which entered into force on 13 May 1995.

The primary objectives of the OPRC 90 Convention are to facilitate international co-operation and mutual assistance in preparing for and responding to oil spills and to encourage States to develop and maintain adequate capability to deal with oil pollution emergencies. The OPRC Convention recognizes the importance of involving the oil and shipping industry in the implementation of the Convention and the “polluter Pays” principle.


Purpose and Objectives

This Plan provides a framework under which Island States and Territories may cooperate at the operational level in responding to oil spill incidents as required by Article 8 of the Protocol to the Cartagena Convention.

The objectives of the Plan are to:

  • promote and implement regional cooperation in oil spill contingency planning, prevention, control and clean up

  • develop appropriate measures of preparedness and systems for detecting and reporting oil spill incidents within the area covered by the Plan

  • institute prompt measures to restrict the spread of oil

  • Identify resources to respond to oil spill incidents

In summary, the overall objective of the Plan is to provide a cooperative scheme for mutual assistance from member states, territories, and organizations in the event of a major oil spill incident, which exceeds the response capability of a national government or oil industry. Venezuela was accorded an associate member status of the Caribbean Island OPRC Plan by the government experts at the 1992 meeting in Curaçao.

Geographic Area of the Caribbean Plan

The geographic area of the sub-regional contingency plan extends from latitude 30° N, 200 miles to the east into the Atlantic Ocean beyond the Caribbean Archipelago to the shore line of South America. To the west, the area extends into the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico following the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Island States and Territories.
The geographic area of the Caribbean Plan essentially is all the waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the sub-regional area of the Wider Caribbean applicable to Venezuela and the following Island States and Territories:

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Commonwealth of Dominica, Dominican Republic, French Antilles, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, US Virgin Islands.


Caribbean Island OPRC Plan 2012

Annex A - Oil Spills Protocol


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