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Workshop Discusses Land-Based Sources of Marine Pollution in Wider Caribbean

30 September 2011: The UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) has hosted experts from 18 countries for a Regional Workshop on Environmental Monitoring and Assessment (EMA) in the Wider Caribbean, with a focus on land-based sources of marine pollution (LBS).

The Workshop was held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, from 26-30 September 2011, as part of the implementation of the 1999 LBS Protocol of the 1983 Cartagena Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean Region. The Protocol took effect in August 2010. The workshop aimed to help the CEP, as Secretariat of the Protocol, prepare a technical brief on EMA studies to be discussed at the First Meeting of the Protocol's Scientific, Technical and Advisory Committee (STAC).

Among the recommendations developed by the Workshop were: EMA methodologies should be standardized; each signatory country should develop national standards on coastal water quality; financing needs to be found for the development or improvement of laboratory capacity; evaluation techniques such as geographic information systems (GIS) should be used to calculate pollutant loads coming from non-point pollution sources; a regional data reservoir and clearinghouse mechanism is needed; evaluation of pollution loads should not be limited to sea water; the STAC should prepare a methodological guidance document for national coastal and marine monitoring programmes; the Global Environment Facility (GEF) should support a pilot project on wastewater management; and "hot spots" could be identified and classified, as a tool for Protocol implementation.

The Workshop also discussed the GEF's projects on Integrating Watershed and Coastal Areas Management in Caribbean Small Island Developing States (IWCAM) that CEP coordinates. [IISD RS Sources] [Workshop Website]