About the Project
Agriculture has long been a main stay of many Caribbean economies. The region produces approximately 60 percent of the world’s coffee, 40 percent of its banana, 25 percent of its beans, 20 percent of its cocoa, and significant quantities of sugar, corn and other crops. Considerable amounts of pesticides are used for the production of these crops which ultimately end up in the sea. With no adequate agricultural practices in place, this poses a serious threat to coral reefs and seagrass beds, threatens tourist activity and the health of the population in the region as well as environmental quality for the reproduction of marine species.
UNEP’s Caribbean Environment Programme, in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), is working to reduce the runoff of agricultural pesticides to the Caribbean Sea, through the REPCar project. Prevailing currents flow in a circular pattern along the Caribbean coast which is shared by Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Colombia, the three countries participating of the project. Trans-boundary pollution can result when contaminants are released into coastal waters by one country, affecting neighbouring countries. Therefore, regional co-operation is necessary to achieve the project's goal of reducing pesticides to the Caribbean Sea.
The main objective of the REPCar project is to mitigate the degradation of the marine environment caused by the use of pesticides in Colombia, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, implement comprehensive management practices and specific measures to control the use and application of pesticides in the agricultural sector. To this end, various provisions of the Cartagena Convention and more specifically, the Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities will be implemented.
Project activities include: