The Caribbean region’s rich biodiversity, unique ecosystems and natural resources base is essential for the region’s human and economic development. These resources provide the basis for a significant portion of the economic activity in the Caribbean. These include agriculture, tourism, fisheries, forestry, mineral and hydrocarbon extraction and maritime sectors. Climate change, bio-piracy, unsafe storage, movement and use of pesticides and chemicals, and uncoordinated national and regional development planning and execution increase the vulnerability. These pose a threat to the Caribbean economy, its highly endemic terrestrial and marine biodiversity, unique ecosystems and natural resources. The Caribbean environmental space needs to be planned for, regulated and sustainably managed for human development. This requires support for national coordination mechanisms that integrate biodiversity and chemicals and waste solutions within a broader environment and sustainable development milieu.
The Programme is being implemented in sixteen (16) Caribbean ACP countries including; Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname. The Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM) and EEB/ZMWG are leading the implementation of the biodiversity and chemicals and waste MEAs cluster while the Cartagena Convention is implementing activities related to the management of the Caribbean coastal areas and Oceans.
Caribbean Community Secretariat
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat is the Caribbean Hub of the ACP-MEAs Programme. It is the principle administrative organ of the Caribbean Community, which comprises of 17 Caribbean countries. The Hub focusses on building and strengthening the capacity of the 17 Caribbean countries (the 16 Caribbean ACP States and Montserrat, a full member of CARICOM) in implementation, enforcement, and compliance with their MEAs obligations. The main targets are government officials and national authorities with a role in MEA implementation. The wider group of stakeholder beneficiaries includes non-governmental organization, academic institutions, the private sector, local communities, and relevant sub-regional, regional and international organizations.
The overall objective of the Caribbean Hub is to strengthen and enhance the capacity of Caribbean ACP countries to effectively enforce the implementation of and comply with MEAs and related commitments to improve sound management of the environment and natural resources.
The specific objective of the Hub is to:
- Strengthen the implementation of MEAs at the national and regional levels in Caribbean ACP countries
- Enhancement the capacity of CARICOM Secretariat as an environmental hub to deliver quality capacity-building services to Caribbean ACP countries, and
- Support the synergistic implementation of MEAs. Read more
The Cartagena Convention and its associated Protocols is the first and only regionally binding treaty of its kind that aims to protect and develop the marine environment of the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR). Parties to the Convention are required to take measures to protect and preserve rare or fragile ecosystems; habitats of depleted, threatened or endangered species; develop technical planning guidelines and conduct Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) of important development programmes in order to prevent or reduce harmful impacts within the WCR.
The Convention is a valuable framework for decision-makers in the Caribbean region with twenty-six (26) ratifications and commitments to protect, develop and manage their common waters. The UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) coordinates/executes the marine environment elements of the Programme. Partnering with the Convention is expected to further regional cooperation on environmental and oceans governance. It will also assist the ACP countries in WCR to protect and preserve rare or fragile ecosystems, endangered species habitats and to reduce, control and prevent land and marine-based pollution of the Convention Area. Read more
EEB/ZMWG is a collaboration between the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and the Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG). EEB, located in Brussels, Belgium, is the largest network with over 140 environmental citizens’ organisations and more than 35 European countries. These organisations include local, national and international. Created in 1974, EEB act as a focal point for its member organizations to monitor and respond to the EU’s environmental policies. EEB is the environmental voice of European citizens, standing for environmental justice, sustainable development and participatory democracy. ZMWG is an international coalition of more than 110 public interest environmental and health non-governmental organizations from over 55 countries around the world.
The coalition was formed in 2005 by the European Environmental Bureau and the Mercury Policy Project to address global environmental challenges. ZMWG strives for zero supply, demand, and emissions of mercury from all anthropogenic sources. Its goal is to reduce mercury in the global environment to a minimum.
EEB/ZMWG is the civil society partner for the ACPMEAs Programme responsible for the provision of technical assistance to the Caribbean ACP countries on the formulation of specific strategies to address mercury-added products phasing-out provisions of the Minamata Convention. It will also assist ACP countries in increasing ratification and implementation of the Minamata Convention. Read more