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Summary of the "Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and Coastal Area of the South-East Pacific" is available from the UNEP Register of International Treaties and Other Agreements in the Field of the Environment.

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CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT 
AND COASTAL AREA OF THE SOUTH-EAST PACIFIC

Lima, 12 November 1981


The High Contracting Parties,

Conscious of the need to protect and preserve the marine 
environment and coastal area of the South-East Pacific against all 
types and sources of pollution,

Convinced of the economic, social and cultural values of the 
South-East Pacific as a means of linking the countries of the 
region,

Considering that the various international agreements concerning 
marine pollution which are in force, despite all the progress 
achieved, do not cover all types and sources of pollution and do 
not completely satisfy the needs and requirements of the countries 
of the region,

Recognizing the desirability of co-operating at the regional 
level, either directly or with the assistance of the Permanent 
Commission of the South Pacific or other competent international 
organizations, in protecting and preserving the aforesaid marine 
environment and coastal area,

Have agreed on the following:


Article 1

GEOGRAPHICAL COVERAGE

The sphere of application of this Convention shall be the sea 
area and the coastal zone of the South-East Pacific within the 
200-mile maritime area of sovereignty and jurisdiction of the High 
Contracting Parties and, beyond that area, the high seas up to a 
distance within which pollution of the high seas may affect that 
area.


Article 2

DEFINITIONS

For the purpose of this Convention:

(a) "Pollution of the marine environment" means the introduction 
by man, directly or indirectly, of substances or energy into the 
marine environment (including estuaries) which results or is 
likely to result in such deleterious effects as harm to living 
resources and marine life, hazards to human health, hindrance to 
marine activities, including fishing and other legitimate uses of 
the sea, impairment of quality for use of sea water and reduction 
of amenities;

(b) "National authority" means the authority designated by each 
Party, in accordance with article 9.

(c) "Executive Secretariat" means the body specified in article 13 
of this Convention.


Article 3

GENERAL OBLIGATIONS

1. The High Contracting Parties shall endeavour, either 
individually or through bilateral or multilateral co-operation, to 
adopt appropriate measures in accordance with the provisions of 
this Convention and any supplementary instruments in force to 
which they are party in order to prevent, reduce and control 
pollution of the marine environment and coastal area of the South-
East Pacific and to ensure appropriate environmental management of 
natural resources.

2. In addition to the "Agreement on Regional Cooperation in 
Combating Pollution of the South-East Pacific by Hydrocarbons or 
Other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency", the High 
Contracting Parties shall co-operate in formulating. adopting and 
implementing any other protocols that may establish rules, 
standards, practices and procedures for the implementation of this 
Convention.

3. The High Contracting Parties shall endeavour to ensure that 
such laws and regulations as they may promulgate to prevent, 
reduce and control pollution of their respective marine 
environment and coastal area from any source and to promote the 
appropriate environmental management of such environment and area 
are as effective as the existing international standards.

4 The High Contracting Parties shall co-operate, on a regional 
basis, directly or in collaboration with the competent 
international organizations, in formulating, adopting and 
implementing effective rules, standards, practices and procedures 
for the protection and preservation of the marine environment and 
coastal area of the South-East Pacific against all types and 
sources of pollution, and in promoting appropriate environmental 
management of such environment and area, taking into account 
characteristic regional features.

Such rules, standards, practices and procedures shall be 
communicated to the Executive Secretariat.

5. The High Contracting Parties shall take all measures necessary 
to ensure that activities under their jurisdiction or control are 
so conducted that they do not cause damage by pollution to others 
or to their environment, and that pollution arising from incidents 
or activities under their jurisdiction or control does not, as far 
as possible, spread beyond the areas where the High Contracting 
Parties exercise sovereignty and jurisdiction.


Article 4

MEASURES TO PREVENT, REDUCE AND CONTROL POLLUTION OF THE MARINE 
ENVIRONMENT

The measures adopted by the High Contracting Parties to prevent 
and control pollution of the marine environment shall include, 
inter alia measures designed to minimize to the fullest possible 
extent:

(a) Release of toxic, harmful or noxious substances, especially 
those which are persistent:

(i) From land-based sources 
(ii) From or through the atmosphere; and 
(iii) By dumping;

(b) Pollution from vessels, in particular measures for preventing 
accidents and dealing with emergencies, ensuring the safety of 
operations at sea, preventing intentional discharges and 
regulating the design, construction, equipment, operation and 
manning of vessels pursuant to the generally accepted 
international standards and rules; and

(c) Pollution from any other installations and devices operating 
in the marine environment, in particular measures for preventing 
accidents and dealing with emergencies, ensuring the safety of 
operations at sea, and regulating the design, construction, 
equipment, operations and manning of such installations or 
devices.


Article 5

EROSION OF COASTAL AREA

The High Contracting Parties shall adopt all appropriate measures 
to prevent, reduce and control erosion of the coastal area of the 
South-East Pacific resulting from the activities of man.


Article 6

CO-OPERATION IN CASES OF POLLUTION RESULTING FROM EMERGENCY 
SITUATIONS

1. High Contracting Parties which become aware of cases in which 
the marine environment is in danger of being damaged or has been 
damaged by pollution shall immediately notify the other High 
Contracting Parties which they deem likely to be affected by such 
damage and the Executive Secretariat.

The High Contracting Parties, individually or by means of 
bilateral or multilateral co-operation, shall endeavour, to the 
extent possible, to eliminate the effects of pollution and to 
prevent or minimize damage.

Accordingly, the High Contracting Parties shall jointly endeavour 
to promote and develop contingency plans for responding to 
pollution incidents in the marine environment.

2. High Contracting Parties which are faced with pollution 
resulting from emergency situations shall:

(a) Make an assessment of the nature and extent of the emergency;

(b) Adopt appropriate measures to avoid or reduce the effects of 
the pollution;

(c) Immediately report the measures adopted and any action which 
they are undertaking or intend to undertake in order to combat the 
pollution;

(d) Observe the emergency situation for as long as it lasts, any 
changes that may occur and, in general, the development of the 
pollution.

The information obtained shall be communicated to the other High 
Contracting Parties and to the Executive Secretariat.

3. High Contracting Parties requiring assistance in combating 
pollution resulting from emergency situations may request, either 
directly or through the Executive Secretariat, the co-operation of 
other Parties, especially those which may be affected by the 
pollution.

Such co-operation may include expert advice and the provision of 
equipment and materials necessary to combat the pollution.

The High Contracting Parties to which a request has been 
addressed shall, as soon as possible, consider the request in the 
light of their capabilities and shall immediately inform the 
requesting Party of the form and conditions of the co-operation 
they are able to provide.


Article 7

MONITORING OF POLLUTION

The High Contracting Parties, directly or in collaboration with 
the competent international organizations, shall establish 
complementary or joint programmes for monitoring pollution in the 
South-East Pacific area, including, when appropriate, bilateral or 
multilateral programmes, and shall endeavour to implement a 
pollution monitoring system for that area.

To this end, the High Contracting Parties shall designate the 
authorities responsible for monitoring pollution within their 
respective maritime areas of sovereignty and jurisdiction and 
shall participate, to the extent feasible, in international 
arrangements for that purpose in areas situated outside the limits 
of their sovereignty and jurisdiction.


Article 8

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

1. As part of their environmental management policies, the High 
Contracting Parties shall develop technical and other guidelines 
to assist the planning of their development projects in such a way 
as to minimize their harmful impact in the sphere of application 
of the Convention.

2. Each High Contracting Party shall endeavour to include an 
assessment of the potential environmental effects in any planning 
activity entailing projects within its territory, particularly in 
the coastal areas, that may cause substantial pollution of, or 
significant and harmful changes to, the area of application of the 
Convention.

3. The High Contracting Parties shall, in cooperation with the 
Executive Secretariat, develop procedures for the dissemination of 
information concerning the assessment of the activities referred 
to in paragraph 2 of this article.


Article 9

EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION

The High Contracting Parties undertake to exchange among 
themselves, and to transmit to the Executive Secretary, 
information on the following:

(a) The competent national organization or authorities responsible 
for combating marine pollution;

(b) The competent national authorities and bodies responsible for 
receiving information on marine pollution and for carrying out 
assistance programmes of measures for the benefit of the Parties; 
and

(c) The programmes and research which they are conducting in order 
to develop new methods and techniques for preventing marine 
pollution as well as the results of such programmes and research.

The High Contracting Parties shall co-ordinate the use of the 
available communication media in order to ensure the timely 
reception, transmission and dissemination of the information to be 
exchanged.


Article 10

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL CO-OPERATION

1. The High Contracting Parties shall, to the extent possible, co-
operate directly, or through the Executive Secretariat or other 
competent international organization, when appropriate, in the 
fields of science and technology, and shall exchange data and any 
other specific information for the purposes of this Convention.

To this end, the High Contracting Parties shall, directly or 
through the Executive Secretariat or another competent 
international organization:

(a) Promote programmes of scientific, educational, technical and 
other assistance for the protection and preservation of the marine 
environment and the coastal area, and for the prevention, 
reduction and control of marine pollution. Such assistance shall 
include, inter alia:

(i) Training of scientific and technical personnel;
(ii) Participation in relevant international programmes;
(iii) Provision of necessary equipment and facilities;
(iv) Strengthening the capacity of the High Contracting Parties 
to manufacture such equipment; and
(v) Provision of facilities for, and advice on, research, 
monitoring, educational and other programmes;

(b) Provide appropriate assistance to minimize the effects of 
major incidents or accidents which may cause serious pollution of 
the marine environment;

(c) Provide appropriate assistance in the preparation of 
environmental assessments; and

(d) Co-operate in developing programmes for appropriate assistance 
in the environmental management of the marine environment and the 
coastal area.

2. The High Contracting Parties undertake, to the extent possible, 
to promote and co-ordinate their national research programmes on 
all the types of pollution which exist within the geographical 
sphere of application of this Convention, and to co-operate in the 
establishment of regional research programmes.


Article 11 

LIABILITY AND COMPENSATION

1. The High Contracting Parties shall endeavour to formulate and 
adopt appropriate procedures for determining civil liability and 
compensation for damage resulting from pollution of the marine 
environment and coastal area caused by natural or juridical 
persons in their maritime and coastal areas as a consequence of 
any infringement by such persons of the provisions of this 
Convention and its supplementary instruments.

2. The High Contracting Parties shall ensure that recourse is 
available in accordance with their legal systems for compensation 
or other relief in respect of damage caused by pollution of the 
marine environment and coastal area by natural or juridical 
persons under their jurisdiction.


Article 12 

MEETINGS OF THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES

The High Contracting Parties shall hold ordinary and 
extraordinary meetings.

1. Ordinary meetings shall be held every two years on the same 
occasion as the Ordinary Meeting of the Permanent Commission of 
the South Pacific. These meetings shall be convened by the 
Executive Secretariat.

Extraordinary meetings shall be held whenever special 
circumstances so warrant. They shall be convened by the Executive 
Secretariat at the request of any High Contracting Party. The 
Executive Secretariat may also convene extraordinary meetings at 
its request following the unanimous agreement of the High 
Contracting Parties.

2. At ordinary meetings, the High Contracting Parties shall 
examine, inter alia, the following points:

(a) The extent to which this Convention is being implemented, the 
effectiveness of the measures taken and the need to develop other 
kinds of activities in furtherance of objectives of this 
Convention and the protocols thereto including their institutional 
and financial aspects;

(b) The adoption of additional protocols, the advisability of 
amending or revising this Convention and the protocols thereto, 
and the modification or expansion of any resolutions adopted in 
pursuance of the provisions of the Convention and protocols;

(c) The environmental assessment undertaken in the geographical 
area covered by this Convention; and

(d) The performance of any other function which may assist in 
achieving the purposes of this Convention.


Article 13

EXECUTIVE SECRETARIAT OF THE CONVENTION

For the purposes of the administration and application of this 
Convention, the High Contracting Parties hereby designate the 
Permanent Commission of the South Pacific to discharge the 
functions of Executive Secretariat under the Convention. At their 
first meeting, the High Contracting Parties shall establish the 
procedure and financing for the performance of this function.


Article 14

REPORTS

The High Contracting Parties shall transmit to the Executive 
Secretariat reports on the measures adopted for the implementation 
of this Convention and the additional protocols which form part of 
it, in such form and at such intervals as determined by their 
meetings. The Executive Secretariat shall bring these reports to 
the attention of the High Contracting Parties.


Article 15

ENTRY INTO FORCE

This Convention shall enter into force sixty days after the third 
instrument of ratification has been deposited with the General 
Secretariat of the Permanent Commission of the South Pacific.


Article 16

DENUNCIATION

This Convention may be denounced by any of the High Contracting 
Parties after it has been in force for two years for the High 
Contracting Party denouncing it.

Such denunciation shall be effected by means of written 
notification to the Executive Secretariat, which shall communicate 
it forthwith to the High Contracting Parties.

The denunciation shall take effect one hundred and eighty days 
after the date of such notification.


Article 17

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONVENTION OR ITS PROTOCOLS

1. Any High Contracting Party may propose amendments to this 
Convention or to its protocols. Such amendments shall be adopted 
at a Conference of Plenipotentiaries convened by the Executive 
Secretary at the request of any Contracting Party.

2. Amendments to this Convention and the protocols shall be 
adopted unanimously by the High Contracting Parties.

3. The amendments shall be subject to ratification and shall enter 
into force after the third instrument of ratification has been 
deposited with the Executive Secretariat.


Article l8

ACCESSION

This Convention shall be open for accession by any State 
bordering the South-East Pacific. Accession shall be effected by 
the deposit of the relevant instrument with the Executive 
Secretariat, which shall communicate it to the High Contracting 
Parties.

This Convention shall enter into force for the State acceding to 
it sixty days after the deposit of the relevant instrument.


Article 19

ADOPTIONS OF PROTOCOLS

The High Contracting Parties may adopt unanimously, at a 
Conference of Plenipotentiaries, additional protocols to this 
Convention, which shall enter into force after the third 
instrument of ratification has been deposited with the Executive 
Secretariat.


Article 2O

GENERAL PROVISION

The provisions of this Convention shall not affect any more 
stringent obligations which have been assumed by the High 
Contracting Parties under special conventions and agreements that 
they have concluded or may conclude on the protection of the 
marine environment.

At the request of any of the High Contracting Parties, the 
Executive Secretariat shall convene a Conference of 
Plenipotentiaries on this question.

Before the entry into force of this Convention, the Executive 
Secretariat may, after consultation with the signatories of the 
Convention, convene a Conference of Plenipotentiaries for the 
adoption of additional protocols.

Done in six identical copies, one of which shall be deposited 
with the General Secretariat of the Permanent Commission of the 
South Pacific, all being equally authentic for the purposes of 
implementation and interpretation.

In witness whereof the Plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized 
by their respective Governments, have signed this Convention in 
the city of Lima, on the twelfth day of November, one thousand 
nine hundred and eighty-one.