Signed at Cartagena (Colombia), 1983; entered into force in 1986
Commonly referred to as the Cartagena Convention, this treaty sets forth a number of responsibilities of Contracting Parties in protecting and managing the Caribbean Sea, including to "prevent, reduce and control" pollution from a variety of sources (i.e. pollution from ships, from at sea dumping of waste, from land-based sources, from seabed activities, and from airborne sources) and to "individually or jointly, take all appropriate measures to protect and preserve rare or fragile ecosystems, as well as the habitat of depleted, threatened or endangered species, in the Convention area".
In 2000, the Convention's Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW Protocol) came into force, thereby providing a mechanism through which species of wild fauna and flora could be protected on a regional scale. Annex I of SPAW includes species of plants to be protected from all forms of destruction or disturbance. Annex II provides for total protection and recovery to listed species of animals. Specifically, Annex II listing prohibits: (a) the take, possession or killing (including, to the extent possible, the incidental taking, possession or killing) or commercial trade in such species, their eggs, parts or products, and (b) to the extent possible, the disturbance of such species, including all Caribbean marine turtles. Other Convention protocols, including the Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean Region (the Oil Spills Protocol) and, more recently, the Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities (the LBS Protocol), provide important safeguards for marine turtle habitat and certain types of crisis response.