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Conventions & Treaties


The Government of Jamaica recognises that as a small island developing state, Jamaica faces many environmental challenges and as such, is committed to addressing these environmental issues. Some of these issues are, but are not limited to:

  • Loss of species and biodiversity
  • Ozone depletion
  • Hazardous waste management
  • Pollution from land-based sources

The Government of Jamaica is addressing these international and global concerns through Multilateral and Regional Agreements with other States. By taking steps to ratify or accede to the many environmental Conventions discussed hereafter, the Government is committing itself to adopting administrative policy, and legal mechanisms to implement these Agreements, as one step in promoting sustainable development at the national level.


International Agreement, date entered into force and main UN institution involved Main Objectives/Area of Action Date of Accession for Jamaica
Convention on the High Seas (1958) Superseded by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), signed in Montego Bay, Jamaica on 10 Dec. 1982 and effective from 16 Nov. 1994

Defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world's oceans.

10 Dec. 1982
Convention on the Law of the Sea 16/11/1994 (Secretary General of the UN)

Defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world's oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.

16 Nov. 1994
Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, Paris, 1972 (UNESCO)

a) Protect cultural heritage of global interest: monuments, buildings and sites that are of outstanding universal value from the archaeological, historical, ethnological or anthropological point of view;

b) Protect natural heritage of global interest: natural features, geological and physiographical formations, which are habitats of threatened species of animals or plants that are of global interest to science or conservation and natural sites of global interest to science, conservation or for their natural beauty

01 Jan. 1972
United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction 20/12/1999 (UNISDR)

Coordination of disaster risk reduction and implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 supported by the creation of national platforms. Main objective: build resilience of nations and communities to disasters.

20 Dec. 2000
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 21/03/94, (Secretary General of the UN)

Stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The treaty requires all countries to establish GHG inventories.

06 Jan. 1995
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, 26/12/1996, (Secretary General of the UN)

Forge a global partnership to reverse and prevent desertification/land degradation and to mitigate the effects of drought in affected areas in order to support poverty reduction and environmental sustainability.

26 Dec. 1996
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, 17/05/2004 (UNEP/FAO)

Protect human health and the environment from on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife, and have harmful impacts on human health or on the environment.

17 May. 2004
Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, 1998 (UNEP)

a) Control the international trade of hazardous chemicals (mainly banned pesticides and industrial chemicals)to protect human health and the environment;

b) To contribute to the environmentally sound use of those hazardous chemicals, through information exchange and establishing a national decision-making process on their import and export 

01 Jan. 1998
Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, 1989 (UNEP)

Control of trans-boundary transportation of hazardous wastes and their disposal.

23 Jan. 2003
Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region (Cartagena Convention) 11/10/1986 (UNEP)

Legally binding environment treaty on the protection and development of the marine environment of the wider Caribbean Region. There are three Protocols.

01 Apr. 1987