REGIONAL ACTION PLAN ON MARINE LITTER

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CEP Technical Report: 72REGIONAL ACTION PLAN ON MARINE LITTER MANAGEMENT(RAPMaLi)FOR THE WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION 2014

RAPMaLi FOR THE WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION 2014

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThis document provides an update to the 2008 “Marine Litter in the Wider Caribbean: A Regional Overview& Action Plan” (RAPMaLi). The regional overview and development of the 2008 RAPMaLi was part of aninitiative conducted by the United Nations Environment Programme-Caribbean Regional CoordinatingUnit (UNEP-CAR/RCU) with financial support from UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme and the UNEP GlobalProgramme of Action.This update was commissioned by United Nations Environment Programme Caribbean/ RegionalCoordinating Unit (UNEP-CAR/RCU). Primary research and survey analysis was conducted by JamillaSealy and Waynelle Collymore-Taylor of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN). Contributingauthor, Emily Franc, Johns Hopkins University, also provided extensive writing, research, case studies, andediting of this document.UNEP acknowledges the contribution made by the governments, CYEN members and individuals whohave contributed to the preparation and publication of this report.“Only by working together will we be able to develop a strong and effective regional programme that willserve to help protect the valuable marine resources of the Caribbean – for its people and the preciousecosystems and wildlife that occupy this region.”UNEP Team:Chris Corbin, UNEP CAR/RCUSanya Wedemier-Graham, UNEP CAR/RCUEmily Franc, UNEP CAR/RCU InternLayout and Graphic Design:Pierluigi RaucoRAPMaLi FOR THE WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION 2014i

TABLE OF CONTENTSAcknowledgements iTable of Contents iiList of Acronyms ivExecutive Summary viiIntroduction 11. Marine Litter: A Global Issue 31.1. Problems and Impacts Associated With Marine Litter51.2. Emergence of Microplastics as a Health Concern71.3. Sources, Activity Categories and Indicators of Marine Litter92. Marine Litter Data Overview – Wider Caribbean Region122.1. Marine Litter Sources in the Wider Caribbean Region (1989-2012)122.2. Dominant Marine Litter Forms in the Wider Caribbean Region133. Identification of Gaps and Needs for Marine Litter Management16Case Study: Saint Lucia 184. Regional Action Plan for Marine Litter Management in the Wider CaribbeanRegion(RAPMaLi) 194.1. Legislation, Policies and Enforcement20Case Study: Guyana 224.2. Institutional Frameworks and Stakeholder Involvement22Case Study: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines244.3. Monitoring Programmes and Research24Case Study: Barbados 274.4. Education and Outreach 27Case Study: Bahamas 294.5. Solid Waste Management Strategies29Case Study: Jamaica 315. Recommendations for the Development of National and Regional Strategies forMarine Litter Management 32Case Study: GCFI and CaMPAM: Regional Collaboration for Marine Litter Reduction 346. Conclusion377. References388. Country Profiles40Anguilla 41Antigua & Barbuda 42Bahamas 43Barbados 45Belize 48British Virgin Islands 51iiRAPMaLi FOR THE WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION 2014

Cayman Islands 52Cuba 53Dominica 54Dominican Republic 55Grenada 56Guyana 57Haiti 60Jamaica 61Saint Kitts and Nevis 63Saint Lucia 64Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 65Suriname 66Trinidad and Tobago 67United States 70APPENDICES73APPENDIX A: National and Regional Priority Setting TemplateAPPENDIX B: International and Regional StakeholdersAPPENDIX C: International and Regional Treaties and Conventions for theManagement of Marine Litter in the Wider Caribbean RegionAPPENDIX D: UNEP CAR/RCU National Survey on Marine LitterAPPENDIX E: ICC Participation in the Wider Caribbean Region (2006-2013)APPENDIX F: Marine Litter Data for the Wider Caribbean Region (1989-2012)APPENDIX G: Ratification of MARPOL Annex V (May 2014) and LBS Protocol(October 2014) in the Wider Caribbean RegionAPPENDIX H: UNEP CAR/RCU LBS Focal Points in the Wider Caribbean RegionRAPMaLi FOR THE WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION 2014iii

LIST OF ACRONYMSAMEP - Assessment and Management of Environmental PollutionABWREC - Antigua and Barbuda Waste Recycling CorporationBARNUFO - Barbados National Union of Fisherfolk OrganisationsBAS - Belize Audubon SocietyBEST - The Bahamas Environment, Science & TechnologyBREEF - The Bahamas Reef Environment Education FoundationCaMPAM - Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Management Network and ForumCARICOM - Caribbean CommunityCARPHA - The Caribbean Public Health AgencyCAST - Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable TourismCERMES - Centre for Resource Management and Environmental StudiesCFH - Cooperative Housing FoundationCHTA - Caribbean Hotel and Tourism AssociationCIBIMA - Research Center for Marine BiologyCNID - Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural DevelopmentCODOPESCA - Dominican Council of Fisheries and AquacultureCOHPEDA - Haitian Collective for the Protection of Environment and AlternativeDevelopmentCSA - Caribbean Shipping AssociationCTO - Caribbean Tourism OrganizationCYEN - Caribbean Youth Environment NetworkCZMA - Coastal Zone Management ActCZMAI - Coastal Zone Management Authority & InstituteDEHS - Department of Environmental Health ServicesECLAC - Economic Commission for Latin America and the CaribbeanECOMAR - Environmental Conservation OrganizationEEZ - Exclusive Economic ZoneEIA - Environmental Impact AssessmentEPA - Environmental Protection AgencyFCCA Florida - Caribbean Cruise AssociationFoProBiM - Foundation for the Protection of Marine BiodiversityFUNDEMAR - Dominican Foundation of Marine StudiesGCFI - Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries InstituteivRAPMaLi FOR THE WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION 2014

GESAMP - Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine EnvironmentalProtectionGPA - Global Programme of Action for the Protection of Marine Environment from Landbased ActivitiesGPA/IGR-2 - Global Programme of Action for the Protection of Marine Environment fromLand-based Activities/Second Intergovernmental Review MeetingICC - International Coastal CleanupICCL - International Council of Cruise LinesICZMC - Integrated Coastal Zone Management CommitteeIGM - Intergovernmental Meeting on the Action Plan for the Caribbean EnvironmentProgrammeIMO - International Maritime OrganizationIOC - Intergovernmental Oceanographic CommissionIMO/REMPEITC - International Maritime Organization/Regional Marine PollutionEmergency, Information and Training CenterIOC/IOCARIBE - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission/IOC Sub-Commission forCaribbean Sea and Gulf of MexicoIOC-UNEP/CEPPOL - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission - United NationsEnvironment Programme/Assessment and Control of Marine Pollution of the CaribbeanEnvironment ProgrammeJANEAP - Jamaica National Environmental Action PlanLBS - Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-Based Sources and ActivitiesMALFF/PU/E/MNIB - Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forests & Fisheries/Public Utilities/Energy/Marketing & Natural Importing BoardMARPOL - International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from ShipsMBRS - Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Systems ProjectMED - Ministry of Environment and DrainageMPA - Marine Protected AreasMPPRCA - Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control ActMPRSA - Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries ActNCAC - National Coastal Awareness CommitteeNCC - National Conservation CommissionNDC - Neighbourhood Democratic CouncilsRAPMaLi FOR THE WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION 2014v

NEAP - National Environmental Action PlanNEPA - National Environment and Planning AgencyNFWS - National Fish and Wildlife ServiceNGO - Non-Governmental OrganisationNMDMP - National Marine Debris Monitoring ProgramNMFS - National Marine Fisheries ServiceNOAA - National Oceanic & Atmospheric AdministrationOBS - Ocean-based sourcesOECS - Organisation of Eastern Caribbean StatesPACT - Protected Areas Conservation TrustPADI - Professional Association of Diving InstructorsRAPMaLi - Regional Action Plan for Marine Litter Management in the Wider CaribbeanRFMO - Regional Fishery Management OrganisationsSMMR- Soufrière/Scott’s Head Marine ReserveSWEEN - Solid Waste Environmental Educators NetworkTIDE - Toledo Institute for Development and the EnvironmentUNCLOS - United Nations Convention on the Law of the SeaUNDP - United Nation Development ProgrammeUNEP-CAR/RCU - United Nations Environment Programme-Caribbean/ RegionalCoordinating UnitUNEP-CEP - United Nations Environment Programme-Caribbean EnvironmentProgrammeUNEP-GPA - United Nations Environment Programme-Global Programme of ActionUNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural OrganisationUNFSA - Fish Stocks AgreementUNICPOLOS - United Nations Open-Ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans andthe Law of the SeaWCR - Wider Caribbean RegionWHO - World Health OrganisationviRAPMaLi FOR THE WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION 2014

EXECUTIVE SUMMARYCountries of the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR)including coastal and Small Island DevelopingStates (SIDS) are blessed with an abundanceof natural assets. These beautiful, yet fragileecosystems support many endemic species andare ringed by coral reefs and mangrove forestswhich provide food and shelter for marine lifeas well as food and livelihoods for humans. Theislands in the WCR face special challenges uniqueto SIDS. These challenges include small landmass (a greater proportion of which is coastalland), poorly developed waste managementinfrastructure, vulnerability to extreme weatherevents, and the location of the majority of theirpopulations within 10 kilometres of the ocean.Vital economic sectors such as tourism, fisheries,and transportation are highly dependenton these vulnerable coastal ecosystems.Unfortunately, the ecosystems that underpinthe economic stability of many countries in theWCR are being severely degraded by overuseand anthropogenic impacts resulting in loss ofbiodiversity and loss of natural storm bufferssuch as corals and mangroves. In order to achievegreater economic growth in these key areas it isimperative to prioritize the stewardship of ourunique natural resources. They must be madean integral focus of all aspects of governmentpolicy, business, trade and conservation and avalued driver of economic growth.In 2007, the problem of marine litter was officiallyrecognized by the United Nations GeneralAssembly as a matter of global concern, and acall for action at the international, regional andnational levels was announced. Today, the worldis experiencing the fallout of more and more landbased litter being swept in our oceans, settlingthroughout the water column, congregating infloating garbage patches, leaching toxins, andfragmenting into ever smaller particles calledmicroplastics. UNGA declared 2014 to be theYear of SIDS, and as a result, special attention isbeing placed on threats to the stability of SIDS,specifically including the problems of marinelitter.The Regional Action Plan for Marine Litter(RAPMaLi ) for the Wider Caribbean Region wasoriginally developed in 2007 as a project underthe directive of the United Nations EnvironmentProgramme (through its Regional Seas Program)in response to growing global concerns of litteraccumulation in our oceans. The CaribbeanRegional Coordinating Unit of UNEP undertookthe task of compiling and developing theRAPMaLi. The regional approach of this projectpromotes problem solving at the national andlocal levels, recognizing that unique regionalcharacteristics shape a variety of solutions to thisendemic problem. A testament to the successof this approach is evidenced in the increasedlevel in participation of 20 countries in 2014,up from 14 countries included in the originalreport. The RAPMaLi action plan has since beenimplemented through selected pilot projects inGuyana, Barbados and Saint LuciaIn the publication of Marine Litter in the WiderCaribbean Region: A Regional Overview &Action Plan, we have experienced great progressin our understanding of the depth and breadth ofthe marine litter problem, how trash travels fromthe land to the sea, as well as our commitmentto better management of the underlyinganthropogenic causes. RAPMaLi is designed toserve as a comprehensive toolkit to assist SIDSin incorporating components of proper wastemanagement across all sectors. These sectorsRAPMaLi FOR THE WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION 2014vii

include but are not limited to governmentallegislation, enforcement, monitoring andresearch, community engagement, and thebusiness sector. The primary action categoriesaddressed in this document include: a)Legislation, Policies and Enforcement; b)Institutional Frameworks and StakeholderInvolvement; c) Monitoring Programmes andResearch; d) Education and Outreach; and e)Solid Waste Management.Research to update the 2008 RAPMaLi wasconducted over the past year by the CaribbeanYouth Environment Network. Data were compiledand assessed utilising background research,surveys and interviews with governmentrepresentatives, UNEP National and Marine LitterFocal Points, non-governmental organisations(NGO’s) and regional organisations involvedin marine litter monitoring and management.The previous document was reviewed and anychanges to organisations and laws were madealong with additions or deletions with respectto institutions, legislation, gaps and otherswhere necessary. Compared to the previousRAPMaLi, many of the same issues prevail, butthere were some improvements over the years.Also included is a current list of Country FocalPoints who serve as an ongoing resource forconservation efforts throughout the WCR. Thislist will also be updated and available on theUNEP-CEP website.The work of the United Nations EnvironmentProgramme,CaribbeanEnvironmentProgramme (UNEP-CEP), which is chargedwith facilitating the implementation of RAPMaLi,is also supported by the adoption of severalinternational agreements with implicationsfor the Wider Caribbean Region, including theProtocol Concerning Pollution from Land-BasedSources and Activities (LBS Protocol) of theCartagena Convention, the London Convention,viiiRAPMaLi FOR THE WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION 2014MARPOL Annex V in which the WCR wasdesignated a Special Area under Annex V dealingwith waste from ships, the Honolulu Strategy,Global Prevention of Marine Litter (GPML), theGlobal Programme of Action for Protection ofthe Marine Environment (GPA) and “The FutureWe Want,” an outcome document of the Rio 20Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in2012.The challenges faced by SIDS in the WCR aremany and varied but not insurmountable.We have the expertise, access to technology,funding and a platform provided throughthe United Nations Environment Programme- Caribbean Environment Programme (UNEPCEP), for countries to share experiences, acrosslanguage, culture and geography. In order toachieve the greatest impact in reducing ourdamage to the natural environment we need tocontinue to identify high risk, priority areas andengage policy makers and other stakeholders tocreate a comprehensive crosscutting approachacross multiple sectors and ministries, bothindividually and collectively.

INTRODUCTIONAccording to the United Nations Joint Groupof Experts on the Scientific Aspects of MarineEnvironmental Protection (GESAMP), 60 - 80%of the world’s marine pollution comes fromland-based sources and activities. The analysisof the data collected in the Caribbean regionthrough various beach and underwater clean-upactivities conducted by local community groupsand government agencies supports this claim(UNEP, 2006). The majority of litter comes fromindiscriminate dumping and littering on land,which can end up in drains, rivers and streams,flowing towards coastal areas, and also resultsfrom direct littering on the beach by beachgoers.The destructive forces of severe storms, waveaction, and hurricane force winds can also movelitter from land to sea. The remainder of marinelitter comes from deposition of litter directlyinto the sea from water borne activities such aspleasure boats and cruises, fishing and cargoships, offshore oil rigs and platforms, fishingpiers, jetties and marinas.In order to manage this pervasive problemeffectively, an adequate understanding of theissues is necessary. This includes knowledgeabout the main types of marine litter, theamount of litter and sources, and also thehuman behaviours and activities whichproduce it. Effective management for thereduction and abatement of marine litter canbe done through effective and continuousresearch, documentation, and monitoringto assess the types and amounts of s, innovative waste managementstrategies, implementation of national policiessupported by existing international treaties andconventions, combined with national legislationand regulations, and governmental and privatesector compliance and enforcement, togethercan form the foundation for a successful marinepollution prevention initiative.The Regional Seas Conventions and ActionPlans have been established in 18 distinctiveregions to serve as a platform for the regionalimplementation of multilateral environmentalagreements and global programmes andinitiatives to address shared environmentalconcerns. UNEP-CEP is the UN agency taskedwith oversight and support for the WiderCaribbean Region. UNEP-CEP, through itsoffice of Assessment and Management ofEnvironmental Pollution (AMEP), engages anextensive regional network of stakeholdersincluding national governments, health,environmental, conservation, education, andtourism sectors, waste management agencies,and organisations that have connections withthe marine litter issue – its creation, handling,abatement, and prevention. Through regionaland local programmes and initiatives for solidwaste and natural resource management andother related activities, these organisationsform a powerful base for regional interactionand collaboration in dealing with the marinelitter problems that plague the region. TheRegional Action Plan for Marine Litter (RAPMaLi)pulls together all of this information in acomprehensive format including informationrelated to specific legislation, stakeholders andrelated activities in each participating country.The development of the updated RAPMaLidocument includes an analysis of theprevious RAPMaLi document. Countryspecific information is now organized intoCountry Profiles outlining new or amendedinstitutional, legal and policy arrangements forRAPMaLi FOR THE WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION 20141

the management of marine litter at all levels,national legislation and policies; identificationof government, quasi-government agenciesand NGO’s that work with national marine litterproblems; and existing national and regionalmonitoring programmes on marine litter. Alsoprovided is a list of international and regionalstakeholders (Appendix B), and an overview ofinternational treaties and conventions relevantto the WCR (Appendix C). A list of WCR countriesthat participate in the ICC is available (AppendixE), along with a review of recent data on thequantity and composition of marine litter in theWCR based on the International Coastal Cleanup(ICC) which contains important base-line2RAPMaLi FOR THE WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION 2014

1. MARINE LITTER: A GLOBAL ISSUEinformation for decision making (Appendix F).Marine litter or debris is one of the mostwidespread and pervasive pollution problemsafflicting the world’s most valuable naturalresources: its beaches, coral reefs, fisheries, andwildlife.Marine litter is a global problem due to themultiple access and egress points includingdirect dumping on the coast, litter dumped atsea which can eventually be deposited on thecoast, land-based mismanagement caused bythe indiscriminate disposal of waste upriver,and wind and storm driven litter which windsup in the sea. Once in the ocean, this litter canbe transported thousands of miles along oceancurrents, travelling along vast water highways,through gyres and eddies, destined to remaintrapped in an ocean gyre, sink to the oceanfloor or eventually be deposited onto a near ordistant shore. Approximately 200 million tonsof inorganic debris is already floating in ouroceans with an estimated 7 million tons beingadded annually (National Research Center forEcological Analysis, 2014). Even remote areascompletely devoid of human habitation havebecome inundated with man-made litter.The main type of litter found in the ocean andalong coastal areas comprises plastic materialsfrom food and beverage containers, childrens’toys and other non-biodegradable products.Plastic does not decompose easily and can floatand/or sink into the water column, remainingin the environment for years. It can alsofragment into ever diminishing particles, calledmicroplastics, which complicates removal fromthe water column. The steady increase in volumeof marine litter is a reflection of the unsustainableproduction and consumption patterns of peoplealong with improper disposal practices.The sheer number of international treaties andconventions dealing specifically with the problemof marine litter confirms the dire global situation.From many studies, the various forms of marinelitter, their abundance and sources, and thehuman behaviours producing it have beenidentified. It is also known that documentationand monitoring to assess the types andamounts of marine litter, culturally-based publiceducation programmes for environmentalstewardship, and implementation of policiessupported by national and local legislation, andgovernmental and private sector complianceand enforcement form the foundation formarine pollution prevention initiatives. Theseprograms of action can lead to the reductionand abatement of marine litter impacting allwaterways and coastal areas.At the international level, several prominentglobal agreements to address marine litter havebeen produced including:Figure 1: Polluted Beach in Hellshire Beach,Jamaica.SAMOA Pathways (2014), SIDS AcceleratedModalities of Action, signed in Apia, Samoa,was the outcome document of the ThirdRAPMaLi FOR THE WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION 20143

International Conference on Small IslandDeveloping States. This conference affirmedthe previous agreements pertaining to SIDSas well as further implementation of actionsto promote sustainable development of SIDSocean-based economies for fisheries andaquaculture, coastal tourism, seabed resources,and renewable energy. It further outlined theneed for a reduction in marine pollution thatthreatens ocean-based economies. As a followup to this conference, the SIDS Action Platformwas created, providing an internet platform forcontinued partnership development.The Mauritius Strategy (2014), developedduring the Second International Conference onSmall Island Developing States, provides forthe continuation of the Barbados Programmeof Action (First International Conference onSmall Island Developing States, BPoA,1994),which recognised that small islands have limitedland space, resources for safe disposal, increasedpopulation size, increased imports of pollutingand hazardous substances which together makepollution and waste management a criticalissue. It added that urbanisation contributesto the problem of marine pollution along withpoorly managed garbage dumps. This issuewas cited as a major constraint to sustainabledevelopment in SIDS.Barbados Outcome of the Inter-regionalPreparatory Meeting for the Third InternationalConference on Small Island Developing States(SIDS), 2013, further identified the degradation ofthe coastal marine environment and inadequatewaste management systems as major challengesto sustainable development. It also recognisedthe need for increased investments and technicalcooperation in the development of integratedwaste management systems and relatedtechnologies in order to manage the problem.4RAPMaLi FOR THE WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION 2014“The Future We Want,” an outcome documentof Rio 20 (2012), calls for urgent action tobe taken on unsustainable production andconsumption patterns in order to addressenvironmental sustainability and also supportsthe sustainable management of wastes throughwaste minimisation activities such as the 3 R’s(reduce, reuse and recycle) and also throughenergy recovery. The green economy approachwas cited as a suitable method to reduce wasteproduction. It also calls for the developmentand enforcement of comprehensive nationalwaste management policies, strategies, lawsand regulations.MARPOL Annex V, (2012) designates the WCRas a “Special Area” for protection. The statusof MARPOL Annex V has been assessed andamended by the IMO. Almost all discharges fromships into the sea are now prohibited as enforcedin 1st January 2013. These new regulationsapply to all ships as well as to fixed and floatingoffshore installations. Guidelines were createdand adopted in 2012 (Annex 24, ResolutionMEPC.219 (63)) entitled ‘2012 Guidelines for theImplementation of MARPOL Annex V’. The GlobalProgramme of Action for the Protection of theMarine Environment from Land-based Activities(GPA) encompasses the issues associated withland-based sources of marine litter and isworking to deal with this global problem throughUNEP’s Regional Seas Programme.The Honolulu Strategy (2011) is a frameworkfor a comprehensive and global effort to reducethe ecological, human health, and economicimpacts of marine debris which was finalizedafter the conference. Participants expressedconcern at the continued threat and economiccosts from marine debris to human health andsafety; biodiversity and ecosystem services;sustainable livelihoods; and the boating,shipping, tourism and fishing sectors. (New to

this edition of RAPMaLi, notations have beenincluded identifying RAPMaLi goals and actionsthat are also set forth in the Honolulu Strategy.)A comprehensive list of International andRegional Treaties and Conventions for the globalmanagement of marine litter and in the WCR isprovided in Appendix C with brief descriptionsand links to the related websites for moreinformation.1.1. PROBLEMS AND IMPACTSASSOCIATED WITH MARINE LITTERMarine litter is a significant issue since it cannegatively affect precious coastal and marinenatural resources including endangeredwildlife and water quality. If this illicit dumpingcontinues unmitigated, it may certainly affectnational economies through the destruction oflivelihoods of persons who depend heavily onocean-based economies such as the fisheries andthe tourism industries (representing the primaryform of foreign revenue for most islands in theWCR). The health and safety of persons who usethe beach and water for recreational activitiesare also at risk in areas where litter accumulates.ECONOMY & AESTHETICSAll ocean-based economies depend onsustainable, healthy ecosystems to supportFigure 2: Dumping at River in Lower Haina Basin inthe Dominican Republic.livelihoods such as fisheries, coastal tourism,aquaculture, seabed resources, oceanictransportation, and export services (SAMOAPathways, 2014). These industries representmajor contributions to countries’ gross domesticproduct (GDP). For example, internationaltourism is expected to generate 14 trillionin export earnings in 2014. Tourism ranks 5thglobally for overall exports and 1st in exports formany developing countries (UNWTO 2014 PressRelease, 2014).Recovering from a drop in tourism arrivals dueto world-wide economic downturn, the WCR’sestimated arrivals are expected to top 25.1million in 2014, bringing in an estimated totalcontribution of USD51bn, representing 14.2% ofregional GDP and 1.9 million jobs (World Traveland Tourism Council, 2014). Marine litter ordebris, which accumulates along the beachesand waterways, disrupts the natural aestheticbeauty of the beaches which diminishes therecreational value and tourism quality of theseresources (Liu, Wang, & Chen, 2013). Sustainingthe tourism sector will require not only trashremoval, but also improving solid waste disposalpractices on land, and investment in sustainingcoastal and reef ecosystems.The loss of shipping containers at sea, estimatedat an average loss of 1,679 containers between2011-2014 (World Shipping Council, 2014),causes financial losses for economies thatdepend on a thriving import/export industry.Ships also rely on clean harbours free of debrisin order to navigate safely. Countries that do notmaintain clean, clear waterways suffer from lossof business. Ships and light craft can be subjectedto severe damage caused by submerged debrissuch as lost shipping containers.Land-based debris can also damageinfrastructure such as bridges and buildings,RAPMaLi FOR THE WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION 20145

storm sewers, and port facilities as theaccumulated litter is swept along with stormwater and high winds accompanying hurricanes.The dumping of trash in gullies and storm drainssignificantly reduces water carrying capacity,which in turn contributes to excess flooding anddamage to roads and bridges. Damage directlyattributable to debris and flooding during the St.Lucia Flood Event of December 2013, resultedin infrastructure losses totalling USD68.8mil(Government of St. Lucia and the World Bank,2014).United Nations estimates have determined thatmarine debris contributes to global economiclosses of at least 14 billion a year (ValuingPlastic, 2014).HUMAN HEALTH & SAFETYLitter can be a hazard to humans with respect tohealth and safety. Improperly disposed medicalwastes can spread diseases and cause injuryfrom needles if it comes into direct contact withpersons. The transference of pathogens frommedical waste, sanitary products and discardeddiapers also puts swimmers and beach goersat risk for serious bacterial infection. BeachFigure 3: Boy cycles past river polluted with solidwaste, Lower Haina River Basin, Dominican Republiccleanliness and water

PACT - Protected Areas Conservation Trust PADI - Professional Association of Diving Instructors RAPMaLi - Regional Action Plan for Marine Litter Management in the Wider Caribbean RFMO - Regional Fishery Management Organisations SMMR - Soufrière/Scott’s Head Marine Reserve SWEEN - Solid Waste Environmental Educators Network

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