Kingston, 2nd February, 2011. Today, as World Wetlands Day raised awareness on the importance of wetlands as natural barriers protecting the ocean from sedimentation and pollution coming from the land, UNEP’s Caribbean Environment Programme (UNEP-CEP) launched the Wider Caribbean LBS Protocol Collage competition. This competition invites school children throughout the region to illustrate how to protect the Caribbean Sea from land-based sources of pollution, in keeping with the theme: “A Future that is Pollution Free – Join Hands to protect our Caribbean Sea”.
The Protocol concerning pollution from land-based sources and activities, known as the LBS Protocol, was adopted in 1999 by the governments of the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) in response to the need to protect the fragile Caribbean Sea from human activities. Considered by many to be the most significant agreement of its kind, it establishes regional effluent limitations for domestic water discharges and requires national plans to address non-point sources of pollution such as agricultural runoff. The region had to wait for 11 years, however, to see the entry of the LBS Protocol into force, when the Government of the Bahamas became the ninth country to ratify the Protocol in 2010, thus establishing the basis for the Protocol to become international law.
In celebration of this important milestone, UNEP-CEP is inviting children from the ages of 12 to 18 to participate through their school class, environmental club, faith-based group, local community or youth organization, in constructing a collage to illustrate how we can protect the fragile coastal and marine environment from land-based sources of pollution.
The Competition will run from 2nd February until 30th June, when all national entries will be submitted to their country representative. Each of the 28 countries of the WCR will be asked to organize the national component of the campaign, and pick a winning entry, which will then be eligible to compete in the regional competition. National prizes will be determined by each country individually, with winners being announced in time for International Coastal Cleanup Day, in late September. UNEP-CEP will complete the regional judging in shortly thereafter, awarding cash prizes in the amount of US$1,000, US$750 and US$500 to first, second and third prize regional winners respectively.
The winning collage overall for the competition will be converted into a portable banner to be used by UNEP-CEP in future United Nations promotions and educational initiatives.
Asked to describe what kind of images UNEP-CEP would be interested in receiving, Tess Cieux, UNEP-CEP Communications Officer responded: “We hope that the students will work together to come up with creative ways of visualizing concrete actions, such as participating in beach clean-ups, planting trees, taking the time to sort recyclable items and to place them in their proper receptacles, and carrying reusable bags, instead of single use plastic bags. We have no doubt that the medium of the collage will lend itself to some powerful statements on the dos and don’ts of preventing the pollution of the marine environment.”
For further information, please contact:
Communication, Education, Training and Awareness (CETA)
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Caribbean Regional Coordinating Unit (CAR/RCU)
Tel: (876) 922-9267 Fax: (876) 922-9292
Mobile: (876) 363-3005
About UNEP’s Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP)
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) in 1976 under the framework of its Regional Seas Programme. It was developed on the importance and value of the Wider Caribbean Region’s fragile and vulnerable coastal and marine ecosystems including an abundant and mainly endemic flora and fauna.
A Caribbean Action Plan was adopted by the Countries of the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) and that led to the development and adoption of the Cartagena Convention on 24 March 1983. This Convention is the first regionally binding treaty of its kind that seeks to protect and develop the marine environment of the WCR. Since its entry into force on 11 October 1986, 25 of the 28 WCR countries have become contracting parties.
The Convention is supported by three protocols:
- Protocol concerning Cooperation in combating Oil Spills, which entered into force on October 11, 1986;
- Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW), which entered into force on June 18, 2000.
- Protocol concerning Pollution from Land-based sources and activities, which entered into force in 2010.
In addition, each Protocol is served by a Regional Activity Centre. These Centers are based in Curacao (Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Information and Training Center for the Wider Caribbean, RAC/REMPEITC) for the Oil Spills Protocol; in Guadeloupe (RAC/SPAW) for the SPAW Protocol and in Cuba (Centre of Engineering and Environmental Management of Coasts and Bays) and Trinidad & Tobago (Institute of Marine Affairs) both for the LBS Protocol.
The Regional Coordinating Unit (UNEP-CAR/RCU), established in 1986, serves as the Secretariat to the Cartagena Convention and is based in Kingston, Jamaica. As they endeavour to protect the Caribbean Sea and sustain our future, we look forward to their continued effort to combat marine pollution by facilitating the implementation of the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols in the Wider Caribbean Region.