JOINT MEETING OF POLLUTION AND BIODIVERSITY EXPERTS FROM LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN HIGHLIGHT IMPORTANCE OF PROTECTING THE REGION'S COASTAL AND MARINE RESOURCES
· Governments encouraged to intensify efforts to prevent pollution &reduce marine biodiversity loss in the Wider Caribbean Region.
· Marine Litter, Sewage and Agrochemical run-off identified as the major pollutants impacting human health and the environment
· Countries to submit proposals of marine protected areas and species for inclusion in future marine conservation efforts
Kingston -- Experts representing the Pollution and Marine Biodiversity sub-programmes of the Secretariat to the Cartagena Convention encouraged Regional Governments to prevent pollution & reduce marine biodiversity loss. The most recent United Nations Report notes previous research that places the cost of pollution caused by marine debris at US$13 billion. Pollution of the Caribbean Sea from land-based sources and activities is negatively impacting human health and job security by poisoning and killing fish; damaging mangroves and coral reefs. This ultimately affects the development of the Wider Caribbean Region which is heavily dependent on tourism.