links about us archives search home
SustainabiliTankSustainabilitank menu graphic

Follow us on Twitter

Puerto RicoUS Virgin Islands

(US C. Islands):


Posted on on May 24th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (

UNEP leads 27 countries of the Wider Caribbean on  “land-based pollution” at an International Maritime Organization (IMO) meeting in Panama City based on the ISTAC of Kingston, Jamaica (Interim Scientific, Technical and Advisory Committee to the Cartagena Convention. Will they touch nevertheless the menacing Deep-Water Oil-Well Blow-Out?

from: James Sniffen <>


Panama City, 24th May, 2010:

Over 50 pollution control experts from 27 countries of the Wider Caribbean
gather today (Monday 24th May) in Panama City at the invitation of the
United Nations Environment Programme’s Caribbean Environment Programme
(UNEP CEP) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The gathering of experts for the 5th Meeting of the Interim Scientific, Technical and Advisory Committee (ISTAC) to the Protocol concerning pollution from land-based sources, commonly known as the LBS Protocol, will last for five days.  The CEP is the Secretariat for this Protocol and is based in Kingston, Jamaica.

The LBS Protocol is one of three agreements under the Convention for the
Protection and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean
Region (the Cartagena Convention).  It establishes regional guidelines and
standards for reducing the impact of pollution on the coastal and marine
environment, and on human health.   Over 80% of the pollution of the marine
environment of the Wider Caribbean is estimated to originate from land
based sources and activities.

Panama, the host country, is one of only six countries to have ratified the LBS Protocol.  The others are Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Saint Lucia, France and the United States.  Discussions during the meeting will focus on measures to increase the region’s commitment to ratify the Protocol, and have it enter into force and become international law as soon as possible.

In support of regional cooperation, UNEP CEP is partnering with the IMO and their joint Regional Activity Centre for Oil Spills (RAC REMPEITC) to bring together experts from environmental agencies, maritime authorities and port administrations for this 5th LBS ISTAC.

Delegates are expected to identify practical measures to improve the implementation of marine environmental agreements including the IMO London Convention on the control of pollution from dumping of wastes at sea and the MARPOL Convention on the prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships.

According to Nelson Andrade, Coordinator of UNEP CEP”   “It is vital that
Governments adopt a more integrated approach to reducing pollution from
land and marine based sources”.  He noted that the continued partnership
between UNEP and IMO will help to effectively implement the Cartagena
Convention and its three Protocols and to reduce marine contamination.

Meeting Participants are also expected to review recent achievements of the
UNEP CEP to reduce and control marine pollution and to endorse a new work
plan and budget for 2010-2011.

For additional information, please contact:

Christopher Corbin,Programme Officer,
Assessment and Management of Environment Pollution (AMEP),
Regional Co-ordinating Unit, UNEP CEP
Kingston, Jamaica
Telephone: (876) 922-9267 — Fax: (876) 922-9292;;

About UNEP’s Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) –  The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) in 1976 under the framework of its Regional Seas Programme.   It was based on the importance and value of the Wider Caribbean Region’s fragile and vulnerable coastal and marine ecosystems including an abundant and mainly endemic flora and fauna,

A Caribbean Action Plan was adopted by the Caribbean countries and led to the adoption, in 1983, of the only current regional, legally-binding agreement for the protection of the marine environment, the Cartagena Convention.  The Convention and its first Protocol (Oil Spill) entered into force in 1986.

Two other protocols were developed by the region – the Protocols on Special Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) and the Control of Pollution from Land Based Sources (LBS) in 1990 and 1999 respectively.

The SPAW Protocol entered into force in 2000, whereas three ratifying countries are still needed for the LBS Protocol.

The Caribbean Regional Coordinating Unit (UNEP-CAR/RCU) serves as the Secretariat to the Cartagena Convention and is based in Kingston, Jamaica.

Each Protocol is served by a Regional Activity Centre.  These Centres are
based in the Netherlands Antilles (Regional Marine Pollution Emergency
Information and Training Center for the Wider Caribbean, RAC/REMPEITC) for
the Oil Spills Protocol, Guadeloupe (RAC/SPAW) for the SPAW Protocol, Cuba
(Centre of Engineering and Environmental Management of Coasts and Bays) and
Trinidad & Tobago (Institute of Marine Affairs) for the LBS Protocol.

Jim Sniffen
Programme Officer
UN Environment Programme
New York
tel: +1-212-963-8094/8210


Posted on on November 8th, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (

Last night the stage of the Symphony Space on Upper West Side, New York City, looked like the stage of the Puerto Rico National Cultural Center and the crowd like a gathering of Puerto Rico’s elite, even though the evening’s title was “A Different Take – Randy Weston.”

They came mainly because of A Wise Latina of the program that was titled rather as the Premiere of “Wise Latina Woman.” It was gracious Jazz in the well established style of the O’Farril family – samples of which, by Chico (the grandfather) and Adam (the grandson), were used as opening of the program.

Two other focal points of the program were “Soul and Culture Suite” by Bob Franceschini played with Arthuro O’Faril at the piano and Ivan Rechter on sax. Then the unforgettable Randy Weston, born in Brooklyn, New York, at the piano, a giant of a man, did his great African Jazz  compositions – “African Sunrise Suite,” “Blues to Africa,” and “African Village Bedford Stuyvesant.”

With all that great material – the novelty was nevertheless – A Wise Latina and the African aspects were clearly a further elaboration of the Puerto Rican culture that includes much of African origins.

Chico Ofarril (the ” ‘ ” was a later addition) came to the US from Cuba, and was a musician that worked with the likes of Machito and Gllespie. Arthuro’s album “Song for Chico,” his father, received a Grammy Award for “Best Latin Jazz Album.” Arthuro was born in Mexico.

Randy Weston is another original. Born in Brooklyn in 1926 and after absorbing the art of Jazz from America’s grates, he chose to travel through Africa and listen to local music – this now gives special color to his tone – without intending a pun – let me add here that the evening proved that “African” is rather mainly an issue of ethnicity and not race – only seeing it this way it becomes clear how the roots of this music survived the many transplantations in foreign lands – and are still culturally recognizable.

I would summarize the evening as great American-African-Latin Culture anchored in its American home in Puerto Rico. Read the rest of this entry »