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Summary of the "Convention for the Protection of the Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific Region" 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 NATURAL 
RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC 
REGION

Noumea, 24 November 1986

    The Parties,

    Fully aware of the economic and social value of the 
natural resources of the environment of the South Pacific 
Region;

    Taking into account the traditions and cultures of 
the Pacific people as expressed in accepted customs and 
practices;

    Conscious of their responsibility to preserve their 
natural heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of present 
and future generations;

    Recognizing the special hydrological, geological and 
ecological characteristics of the region which requires 
special care and responsible management;

    Recognizing further the threat to the marine and 
coastal environment, its ecological equilibrium, 
resources and legitimate uses posed by pollution and by 
the insufficient integration of an environmental 
dimension into the development process;

    Seeking to ensure that resource development shall be 
in harmony with the maintenance of the unique 
environmental quality of the region and the evolving 
principles of sustained resource management;

    Realizing fully the need for co-operation amongst 
themselves and with competent international, regional and 
sub-regional organizations in order to ensure a co-
ordinated and comprehensive development of the natural 
resources of the region;

    Recognizing the desirability for the wider acceptance 
and national implementation of international agreements 
already in existence concerning the marine and coastal 
environment;

    Noting, however, that existing international 
agreements concerning the marine and coastal environment 
do not cover, in spite of the progress achieved, all 
aspects and sources of marine pollution and environmental 
degradation and do not entirely meet the special 
requirements of the South Pacific Region;

    Desirous to adopt the regional convention to 
strengthen the implementation of the general objective of 
the Action Plan for Managing the Natural Resources and 
Environment of the South Pacific Region adopted at 
Rarotonga, Cook Islands, on 11 March 1982;

    Have agreed as follows:


Article 1

GEOGRAPHICAL COVERAGE

1. This Convention shall apply to the South Pacific 
Region, hereinafter referred to as "the Convention Area" 
as defined in paragraph (a) of Article 2.

2. Except as may be otherwise provided in any Protocol to 
this Convention, the Convention Area shall not include 
internal waters or archipelagic waters of the Parties as 
defined in accordance with international law.


Article 2

DEFINITIONS

    For the purposes of this Convention and its Protocols 
unless otherwise defined in any such Protocol:

(a) the "Convention Area" shall comprise:

   (i) the 200 nautical mile zones established in 
accordance with international law off:

American Samoa
Australia (East coast and Islands to eastward including 
Macquarie Island)
Cook Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
French Polynesia
Guam
Kiribati
Marshall Islands
Nauru
New Caledonia and Dependencies
New Zealand
Niue
Northern Mariana Islands
Palau
Papua New Guinea
Pitcairn Islands
Solomon Islands
Tokelau
Tonga
Tuvalu
Vanuatu
Wallis and Futuna
Western Samoa

  (ii) those areas of high seas which are enclosed from 
all sides by the 200 nautical mile zones referred to in 
sub-paragraph (i);

  (iii) areas of the Pacific Ocean which have been 
included in the Convention Area pursuant to Article 3;

(b) "dumping" means:

     any deliberate disposal at sea of wastes or other 
matter from vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-
made structures;

    any deliberate disposal at sea of vessels, aircraft, 
platforms or other man-made structures at sea;

"dumping" does not include:

    the disposal of wastes or other matter incidental 
to, or derived from the normal operations of vessels, 
aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures at sea 
and their equipment, other than wastes or other matter 
transported by or to vessels, aircraft, platforms or 
other man-made structures at sea, operating for the 
purpose of treatment of such wastes or other matter on 
such vessels, aircraft, platforms or structures;

    placement of matter for a purpose other than the 
mere disposal thereof, provided that such placement is 
not contrary to the aims of this Convention;

(c) "wastes or other matter" means material and 
substances of any kind, form or description;

(d) the following wastes or other matter shall be 
considered to be non-radioactive: sewage sludge, dredge 
spoil, fly ash, agricultural wastes, construction 
materials, vessels, artificial reef building materials 
and other such materials provided that they have not been 
contaminated with radio nuclides of anthropogenic origin 
(except dispersed global fallout from nuclear weapons 
testing), nor are potential sources of naturally 
occurring radio nuclides for commercial purposes, nor 
have been enriched in natural or artificial radio 
nuclides;

    If there is a question as to whether the material to 
be dumped should be considered non-radioactive, for the 
purposes of this Convention, such material shall not be 
dumped unless the appropriate national authority of the 
proposed dumper confirms that such dumping would not 
exceed the individual and collective dose limits of the 
International Atomic Energy Agency general principles for 
the exemption of radiation sources and practices from 
regulatory control. The national authority shall also 
take into account the relevant recommendations, standards 
and guidelines developed by the International Atomic 
Energy Agency.

(e) "vessels" and "aircraft" means waterborne or airborne 
craft of any type whatsoever. This expression includes 
air cushioned craft and floating craft, whether self-
propelled or not;

(f) "pollution'' 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;

    In applying this definition to the Convention 
obligations, the Parties shall use their best endeavours 
to comply with the appropriate standards and 
recommendations established by competent international 
organizations, including the International Atomic Energy 
Agency;

(g) "Organisation" means the South Pacific Commission;

(h) "Director" means the Director of the South Pacific 
Bureau for Economic Co-operation.


Article 3

ADDITION TO THE CONVENTION AREA

    Any Party may add areas under its jurisdiction within 
the Pacific Ocean between the Tropic of Cancer and 60 
degrees South latitude and between 130 degrees East 
longitude and 120 degrees West longitude to the 
Convention Area. Such addition shall be notified to the 
Depositary who shall promptly notify the other Parties 
and the Organisation. Such areas shall be incorporated 
within the Convention Area ninety days after notification 
to the Parties by the Depositary provided there has been 
no objection to the proposal to add new areas by any 
Party affected by that proposal. If there is any such 
objection the Parties concerned will consult with a view 
to resolving the matter.


Article 4

GENERAL PROVISIONS

1. The Parties shall endeavour to conclude bilateral or 
multilateral agreements, including regional or sub-
regional agreements, for the protection, development and 
management of the marine and coastal environment of the 
Convention Area. Such agreements shall be consistent with 
this Convention and in accordance with international law. 
Copies of such agreements shall be communicated to the 
Organisation and through it to all Parties to this 
Convention .

2. Nothing in this Convention or its Protocols shall be 
deemed to affect obligations assumed by a Party under 
agreements previously concluded.

3. Nothing in this Convention and its Protocols shall be 
construed to prejudice or affect the interpretation and 
application of any provision or term in the Convention on 
the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes 
and Other Matter, 1972.

4. This Convention and its Protocols shall be construed 
in accordance with international law relating to their 
subject matter.

5. Nothing in this Convention and its Protocols shall 
prejudice the present or future claims and legal views of 
any Party concerning the nature and extent of maritime 
jurisdiction.

6. Nothing in this Convention shall affect the sovereign 
right of States to exploit, develop and manage their own 
natural resources pursuant to their own policies, taking 
into account their duty to protect and preserve the 
environment. Each Party shall ensure that activities 
within its jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to 
the environment of other States or of areas beyond the 
limits of its national jurisdiction.



Article 5

GENERAL OBLIGATIONS

1. The Parties shall endeavour, either individually or 
jointly, to take all appropriate measures in conformity 
with international law and in accordance with this 
Convention and those Protocols in force to which they are 
party to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the 
Convention Area, from any source, and to ensure sound 
environmental management and development of natural 
resources, using for this purpose the best practicable 
means at their disposal, and in accordance with their 
capabilities. In doing so the Parties shall endeavour to 
harmonize their policies at the regional level.

2. The Parties shall use their best endeavours to ensure 
that the implementation of this Convention shall not 
result in an increase in pollution in the marine 
environment outside the Convention Area.

3. In addition to the Protocol for the Prevention of 
Pollution of the South Pacific Region by Dumping and the 
Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Pollution 
Emergencies in the South Pacific Region, the Parties 
shall co-operate in the formulation and adoption of other 
Protocols prescribing agreed measures, procedures and 
standards to prevent, reduce and control pollution from 
all sources or in promoting environmental management in 
conformity with the objectives of this Convention .

4. The Parties shall, taking into account existing 
internationally recognized rules, standards, practices 
and procedures, co-operate with competent global regional 
and sub-regional organisations to establish and adopt 
recommended practices, procedures and measures to 
prevent, reduce and control pollution from all sources 
and to promote sustained resource management and to 
ensure the sound development of natural resources in 
conformity with the objectives of this Convention and its 
Protocols. and to assist each other in fulfilling their 
obligations under this Convention and its Protocols.

5. The Parties shall endeavour to establish laws and 
regulations for the effective discharge of the 
obligations prescribed in this Convention. Such laws and 
regulations shall be no less effective than international 
rules, standards and recommended practices and 
procedures.


Article 6

POLLUTION FROM VESSELS

    The Parties shall take all appropriate measures to 
prevent, reduce and control pollution in the Convention 
Area caused by discharges from vessels, and to ensure the 
effective application in the Convention Area of the 
generally accepted international rules and standards 
established through the competent international 
organisation or general diplomatic conference relating to 
the control of pollution from vessels.


Article 7

POLLUTION FROM LAND-BASED SOURCES

    The Parties shall take all appropriate measures to 
prevent, reduce and control pollution in the Convention 
Area caused by coastal disposal or by discharges 
emanating from rivers, estuaries, coastal establishments, 
outfall structures, or any other sources in their 
territory.


Article 8

POLLUTION FROM SEABED ACTIVITIES

    The Parties shall take all appropriate measures to 
prevent, reduce and control pollution in the Convention 
Area resulting directly or indirectly from exploration 
and exploitation of the seabed and its subsoil.


Article 9

AIRBORNE POLLUTION

    The Parties shall take all appropriate measures to 
prevent, reduce and control pollution in the Convention 
Area resulting from discharges into the atmosphere from 
activities under their jurisdiction.



Article 10

DISPOSAL OF WASTES

1. The Parties shall take all appropriate measures to 
prevent, reduce and control pollution in the Convention 
Area caused by dumping from vessels, aircraft, or man-
made structures at sea, including the effective 
application of the relevant internationally recognized 
rules and procedures relating to the control of dumping 
of wastes and other matter. The Parties agree to prohibit 
the dumping of radioactive wastes or other radioactive 
matter in the Convention Area. Without prejudice to 
whether or not disposal into the seabed and subsoil of 
wastes or other matter is "dumping", the Parties agree to 
prohibit the disposal into the seabed and subsoil of the 
Convention Area of radioactive wastes or other 
radioactive matter.

2. This article shall also apply to the continental shelf 
of a Party where it extends, in accordance with 
international law, outward beyond the Convention Area .


Article 11

STORAGE OF TOXIC AND HAZARDOUS WASTES

    The Parties shall take all appropriate measures to 
prevent, reduce and control pollution in the Convention 
Area resulting from the storage of toxic and hazardous 
wastes. In particular, the Parties shall prohibit the 
storage of radioactive wastes or other radioactive matter 
in the Convention Area.



Article 12

TESTING OF NUCLEAR DEVICES

    The Parties shall take all appropriate measures to 
prevent, reduce and control pollution in the Convention 
Area which might result from the testing of nuclear 
devices.


Article 13

MINING AND COASTAL EROSION

    The Parties shall take all appropriate measures to 
prevent, reduce and control environmental damage in the 
Convention Area, in particular coastal erosion caused by 
coastal engineering, mining activities, sand removal, 
land reclamation and dredging.


Article 14

SPECIALLY PROTECTED AREAS AND PROTECTION OF WILD FLORA 
AND FAUNA

    The Parties shall, individually or jointly, take all 
appropriate measures to protect and preserve rare or 
fragile ecosystems and depleted, threatened or endangered 
flora and fauna as well as their habitat in the 
Convention Area. To this end, the Parties shall, as 
appropriate, establish protected areas, such as parks and 
reserves, and prohibit or regulate any activity likely to 
have adverse effects on the species, ecosystems or 
biological processes that such areas are designed to 
protect. The establishment of such areas shall not affect 
the rights of other Parties or third States under 
international law. In addition, the Parties shall 
exchange information concerning the administration and 
management of such areas.


Article 15

CO-OPERATION IN COMBATING POLLUTION IN CASES OF EMERGENCY

1. The Parties shall co-operate in taking all necessary 
measures to deal with pollution emergencies in the 
Convention Area, whatever the cause of such emergencies, 
and to prevent, reduce and control pollution or the 
threat of pollution resulting therefrom. To this end, the 
Parties shall develop and promote individual contingency 
plans and joint contingency plans for responding to 
incidents involving pollution or the threat thereof in 
the Convention Area.

2. When a Party becomes aware of a case in which the 
Convention Area is in imminent danger of being polluted 
or has been polluted, it shall immediately notify other 
countries and territories it deems likely to be affected 
by such pollution, as well as the Organisation. 
Furthermore it shall inform as soon as feasible, such 
other countries and territories and the Organisation of 
any measures it has itself taken to reduce or control 
pollution or the threat thereof.


Article 16 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

1. The Parties agree to develop and maintain, with the 
assistance of competent global, regional and subregional 
organisations as requested, technical guidelines and 
legislation giving adequate emphasis to environmental and 
social factors to facilitate balanced development of 
their natural resources and planning of their major 
projects which might affect the marine environment in 
such a way as to prevent or minimise harmful impacts on 
the Convention Area.

2. Each Party shall, within its capabilities, assess the 
potential effects of such projects on the marine 
environment, so that appropriate measures can be taken to 
prevent any substantial pollution of, or significant and 
harmful changes within, the Convention Area.

3. With respect to the assessment referred to in 
paragraph 2, each Party shall, where appropriate, invite:

(a) public comment according to its national procedures;

(b) other Parties that may be affected to consult with it 
and submit comments.

The results of these assessments shall be communicated to 
the Organisation, which shall make them available to 
interested Parties.


Article 17 

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL CO-OPERATION

1. The Parties shall co-operate, either directly or with 
the assistance of competent global, regional and sub-
regional organisations, in scientific research, 
environmental monitoring, and the exchange of data and 
other scientific and technical information related to the 
purposes of the Convention.

2. In addition, the Parties shall, for the purposes of 
this Convention, develop and co-ordinate research and 
monitoring programmes relating to the Convention Area and 
co-operate, as far as practicable. in the establishment 
and implementation of regional, sub-regional and 
international research programmes.


Article 18

 TECHNICAL AND OTHER ASSISTANCE

    The Parties undertake to co-operate, directly and 
when appropriate through the competent global, regional 
and sub-regional organisations, in the provision to other 
Parties of technical and other assistance in fields 
relating to pollution and sound environmental management 
of the Convention Area, taking into account the special 
needs of the island developing countries and territories.



Article 19

TRANSMISSION OF INFORMATION

    The Parties shall transmit to the Organisation 
information on the measures adopted by them in the 
implementation of this Convention and of Protocols to 
which they are Parties, in such form and at such 
intervals as the Parties may determine.


Article 20

LIABILITY AND COMPENSATION

    The Parties shall co-operate in the formulation and 
adoption of appropriate rules and procedures in 
conformity with international law in respect of liability 
and compensation for damage resulting from pollution of 
the Convention Area.


Article 21

INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

1. The Organisation shall be responsible for carrying out 
the following secretariat functions:

(a) to prepare and convene the meetings of Parties;

(b) to transmit to the Parties notifications, reports and 
other information received in accordance with this 
Convention and its Protocols;

(c) to perform the functions assigned to it by the 
Protocols to this Convention;

(d) to consider enquiries by, and information from, the 
Parties and to consult with them on questions relating to 
this Convention and the Protocols;

(e) to co-ordinate the implementation of cooperative 
activities agreed upon by the Parties;

(f) to ensure the necessary co-ordination with other 
competent global, regional and sub-regional bodies;

(g) to enter into such administrative arrangements as may 
be required for the effective discharge of the 
secretariat functions;

(h) to perform such other functions as may be assigned to 
it by the Parties; and

(i) to transmit to the South Pacific Conference and the 
South Pacific Forum the reports of ordinary and 
extraordinary meetings of the Parties.

2. Each Party shall designate an appropriate national 
authority to serve as the channel of communication with 
the Organisation for the purposes of this Convention.


Article 22

MEETINGS OF THE PARTIES

1. The Parties shall hold ordinary meetings once every 
two years. Ordinary meetings shall review the 
implementation of this Convention and its Protocols and, 
in particular, shall:

(a) assess periodically the state of the environment in 
the Convention Area;

(b) consider the information submitted by the Parties 
under Article 19;

(c) adopt, review and amend as required annexes to this 
Convention and to its Protocols, in accordance with the 
provisions of Article 25;

(d) make recommendations regarding the adoption of any 
Protocols or any amendments to this Convention or its 
Protocols in accordance with the provisions of Articles 
23 and 24;

(e) establish working groups as required to consider any 
matters concerning this Convention and its Protocols;

(f) consider co-operative activities to be undertaken 
within the framework of this Convention and its 
Protocols, including their financial and institutional 
implications and to adopt decisions relating thereto;

(g) consider and undertake any additional action that may 
be required for the achievement of the purposes of this 
Convention and its Protocols; and

(h) adopt by consensus financial rules and budget 
prepared in consultation with the Organisation, to 
determine, inter alia, the financial participation of the 
Parties under this Convention and those Protocols to 
which they are party.

2. The Organisation shall convene the first ordinary 
meeting of the Parties not later than one year after the 
date on which the Convention enters into force in 
accordance with Article 31.

3. Extraordinary meetings shall be convened at the 
request of any Party or upon the request of the 
Organisation, provided that such requests are supported 
by at least two-thirds of the Parties. It shall be the 
function of an extraordinary meeting of the Parties to 
consider those items proposed in the request for the 
holding of the extraordinary meeting and any other items 
agreed to by all the Parties attending the meeting.

4. The Parties shall adopt by consensus at their first 
ordinary meeting, rules of procedure for their meetings.


Article 23

ADOPTION OF PROTOCOLS

1. The Parties may, at a conference of plenipotentiaries, 
adopt Protocols to this Convention pursuant to paragraph 
3 of Article 5.

2. If so requested by a majority of the Parties, the 
Organisation shall convene a conference of 
plenipotentiaries for the purpose of adopting Protocols 
to this Convention.


Article 24

AMENDMENT OF THE CONVENTION AND ITS PROTOCOLS

1. Any Party may propose amendments to this Convention. 
Amendments shall be adopted by a conference of 
plenipotentiaries which shall be convened by the 
Organisation at the request of two-thirds of the Parties.

2. Any Party to this Convention may propose amendments to 
any Protocol. Such amendments shall be adopted by a 
conference of plenipotentiaries which shall be convened 
by the Organisation at the request of two-thirds of the 
Parties to the Protocol concerned.

3. A proposed amendment to the Convention or any Protocol 
shall be communicated to the Organisation which shall 
promptly transmit such proposal for consideration to all 
the other Parties.

4. A conference of plenipotentiaries to consider a 
proposed amendment to the Convention or any Protocol 
shall be convened not less than ninety days after the 
requirements for the convening of the Conference have 
been met pursuant to paragraphs 1 or 2, as the case may 
be.

5. Any amendment to this Convention shall be adopted by a 
three-fourths majority vote of the Parties to the 
Convention which are represented at the conference of 
plenipotentiaries and shall be submitted by the 
Depositary for acceptance by all Parties to the 
Convention. Amendments to any Protocol shall be adopted 
by a three-fourths majority vote of the Parties to the 
Protocol which are represented at the conference of 
plenipotentiaries and shall be submitted by the 
Depositary for acceptance by all Parties to the Protocol.

6. Instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval of 
amendments shall be deposited with the Depositary. 
Amendments shall enter into force between Parties having 
accepted such amendments of the instruments on the 
thirtieth day following the date of receipt by the 
Depositary of the instruments of at least three-fourths 
of the Parties to this Convention or to the Protocol 
concerned, as the case may be. Thereafter the amendments 
shall enter into force for any other Party on the 
thirtieth day after the date on which that Party deposits 
its instrument.

7. After the entry into force of an amendment to this 
Convention or to a Protocol, any new Party to the 
Convention or such Protocol shall become a Party to the 
Convention or Protocol as amended.


Article 25

 ANNEXES AND AMENDMENT OF ANNEXES

1. Annexes to this Convention or to any Protocol shall 
form an integral part of the Convention or such Protocol 
respectively.

2. Except as may be otherwise provided in any Protocol 
with respect to its annexes, the following procedures 
shall apply to the adoption and entry into force of any 
amendments to annexes to this Convention or to annexes to 
any Protocol:

(a) any Party may propose amendments to the annexes to 
this Convention or annexes to any Protocol;

(b) any proposed amendment shall be notified by the 
Organisation to the Parties not less than sixty days 
before the convening of a meeting of the Parties unless 
this requirement is waived by the meeting;

(c) such amendments shall be adopted at a meeting of the 
Parties by a three-fourths majority vote of the Parties 
to the instrument in question;

(d) the Depositary shall without delay communicate the 
amendments so adopted to all Parties;

(e) any Party that is unable to approve an amendment to 
the annexes to this Convention or to annexes to any 
Protocol shall so notify in writing to the Depositary 
within one hundred days from the date of the 
communication of the amendment by the Depositary. A Party 
may at any time substitute an acceptance for a previous 
declaration of objection, and the amendment shall 
thereupon enter into force for that Party;

(f ) the Depositary shall without delay notify all 
Parties of any notification received pursuant to the 
preceding sub-paragraph; and

(g) on expiry of the period referred to in subparagraph 
(e) above, the amendment to the annex shall become 
effective for all Parties to this Convention or to the 
Protocol concerned which have not submitted a 
notification in accordance with the provisions of that 
sub-paragraph.

3. The adoption and entry into force of a new annex shall 
be subject to the same procedure as that for the adoption 
and entry into force of an amendment to an annex as set 
out in the provisions of paragraph 2, provided that, if 
any amendment to the Convention or the Protocol concerned 
is involved, the new annex shall not enter into force 
until such time as that amendment enters into force.

4. Amendments to the Annex on Arbitration shall be 
considered to be amendments to this Convention or its 
Protocols and shall be proposed and adopted in accordance 
with the procedures set out in Article 24.


Article 26

SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES

1. In case of a dispute between Parties as to the 
interpretation or application of this Convention or its 
Protocols, they shall seek a settlement of the dispute 
through negotiation or any other peaceful means of their 
own choice. If the Parties concerned cannot reach 
agreement, they should seek the good offices of, or 
jointly request mediation by, a third Party.

2. If the Parties concerned cannot settle their dispute 
through the means mentioned in paragraph 1, the dispute 
shall, upon common agreement except as may be otherwise 
provided in any Protocol to this Convention, be submitted 
to arbitration under conditions laid down in the Annex on 
Arbitration to this Convention. However, failure to reach 
common agreement on submission of the dispute to 
arbitration shall not absolve the Parties from the 
responsibility of continuing to seek to resolve it by 
means referred to in paragraph 1.

3. A Party may at any time declare that it recognizes as 
compulsory ipso facto and without special agreement, in 
relation to any other Party accepting the same 
obligation, the application of the arbitration procedure 
set out in the Annex on Arbitration. Such declaration 
shall be notified in writing to the Depositary who shall 
promptly communicate it to the other Parties.


Article 27

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THIS CONVENTION AND ITS PROTOCOLS

1. No State may become a Party to this Convention unless 
it becomes at the same time a Party to one or more 
Protocols. No State may become a Party to a Protocol 
unless it is, or becomes at the same time, a Party to 
this Convention.

2. Decisions concerning any Protocol pursuant to Articles 
22, 24 and 25 of this Convention shall be taken only by 
the Parties to the Protocol concerned.


Article 28

SIGNATURE

    This Convention, the Protocol Concerning Cooperation 
in Combating Pollution Emergencies in the South Pacific 
Region, and the Protocol for the Prevention of Pollution 
of the South Pacific Region by Dumping shall be open for 
signature at the South Pacific Commission Headquarters in 
Noumea, New Caledonia on 25 November 1986 and at the 
South Pacific Bureau for Economic Co-operation 
Headquarters, Suva, Fiji from 26 November 1986 to 25 
November 1987 by States which were invited to participate 
in the Plenipotentiary Meeting of the High Level 
Conference on the Protection of the Natural Resources and 
Environment of the South Pacific Region held at Noumea, 
New Caledonia from 24 November 1986 to 25 November 1986.


Article 29

RATIFICATION, ACCEPTANCE OR APPROVAL

    This Convention and any Protocol thereto shall be 
subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by States 
referred to in Article 28. Instruments of ratification, 
acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the 
Director who shall be the Depositary.


Article 30

ACCESSION

1. This Convention and any Protocol hereto shall be open 
to accession by the States referred to in Article 28 as 
from the day following the date on which the Convention 
or Protocol concerned was closed for signature.

2. Any State not referred to in paragraph 1 may accede to 
the Convention and to any Protocol subject to prior 
approval by three-fourths of the Parties to the 
Convention or the Protocol concerned.

3. Instruments of accession shall be deposited with the 
Depositary.


Article 31

ENTRY INTO FORCE

1. This Convention shall enter into force on the 
thirtieth day following the date of deposit of at least 
ten instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or 
accession.

2. Any Protocol to this Convention, except as otherwise 
provided in such Protocol, shall enter into force on the 
thirtieth day following the date of deposit of at least 
five instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval 
of such Protocol, or of accession thereto, provided that 
no Protocol shall enter into force before the Convention. 
Should the requirements for entry into force of a 
Protocol be met prior to those for entry into force of 
the Convention pursuant to paragraph 1, such Protocol 
shall enter into force on the same date as the 
Convention.

3. Thereafter, this Convention and any Protocol shall 
enter into force with respect to any State referred to in 
Articles 28 or 30 on the thirtieth day following the date 
of deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, 
approval or accession.


Article 32 

DENUNCIATION

1. At any time after two years from the date of entry 
into force of this Convention with respect to a Party, 
that Party may denounce the Convention by giving written 
notification to the Depositary.

2. Except as may be otherwise provided in any Protocol to 
this Convention, any Party may, at any time after two 
years from the date of entry into force of such Protocol 
with respect to that Party, denounce the Protocol by 
giving written notification to the Depositary.

3. Denunciation shall take effect ninety days after the 
date on which notification of denunciation is received by 
the Depositary.

4. Any Party which denounces this Convention shall be 
considered as also having denounced any Protocol to which 
it was a Party.

5. Any Party which, upon its denunciation of a Protocol 
is no longer a Party to any Protocol to this Convention, 
shall be considered as also having denounced this 
Convention.


Article 33

 RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE DEPOSITARY

1. The Depositary shall inform the Parties, as well as 
the Organisation

(a) of the signature of this Convention and of any 
Protocol thereto and of the deposit of instruments of 
ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession in 
accordance with Articles 29 and 30;

(b) of the date on which the Convention and any Protocol 
will come into force in accordance with the provisions of 
Article 31;

(c) of notification of denunciation made in accordance 
with Article 32;

(d) of notification of any addition to the Convention 
Area in accordance with Article 3;

(e) of the amendments adopted with respect to the 
Convention and to any Protocol, their acceptance by the 
Parties and the date of their entry into force in 
accordance with the Provisions of Article 24; and

(f) of the adoption of new annexes and of the amendments 
of any annex in accordance with Article 25.

2. The original of this Convention and of any Protocol 
thereto shall be deposited with the Depositary who shall 
send certified copies thereof to the Signatories, the 
Parties, to the Organisation and to the Secretary-General 
of the United Nations for registration and publication in 
accordance with Article 102 of the United Nations 
Charter.

    In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly 
authorised by their respective Governments, have signed 
this Convention.

    Done at Noumea, New Caledonia on the twenty-fourth 
day of November in the year one thousand nine hundred and 
eighty-six in a single copy in the English and French 
languages, the two texts being equally authentic.


Annex on arbitration


Article 1

    Unless the agreement referred to in Article 26 of the 
Convention provides otherwise, the arbitration procedure 
shall be in accordance with the rules set out in this 
Annex.


Article 2

    The claimant Party shall notify the Organisation that 
the Parties have agreed to submit the dispute to 
arbitration pursuant to paragraph 2, or that paragraph 3 
of Article 26 of the Convention is applicable. The 
notification shall state the subject matter of the 
arbitration and include the provisions of the Convention 
or any Protocol thereto, the interpretation or 
application of which is the subject of disagreement. The 
Organisation shall transmit this information to all 
Parties to the Convention or Protocol concerned.


Article 3

1. The Tribunal shall consist of a single arbitrator if 
so agreed between the Parties to the dispute within 
thirty days from the date of receipt of the notification 
for arbitration.

2. In the case of the death, disability or default of the 
arbitrator, the Parties to a dispute may agree upon a 
replacement within thirty days of such death, disability 
or default.


Article 4

1. Where the Parties to a dispute do not agree upon a 
Tribunal in accordance with Article 3 of this Annex, the 
Tribunal shall consist of three members:
    (i) one arbitrator nominated by each Party to the 
dispute,

    (ii) a third arbitrator who shall be nominated by 
agreement between the two first named and who shall act 
as its Chairman.

2. If the Chairman of a Tribunal is not nominated within 
thirty days of nomination of the second arbitrator, the 
Parties to a dispute shall, upon the request of one 
Party, submit to the Secretary-General of the 
Organisation within a further period of thirty days, an 
agreed list of qualified persons. The Secretary-General 
shall select the Chairman from such list as soon as 
possible. He shall not select a Chairman who is, or has 
been, a national of one Party to the dispute except with 
the consent of the other Party to the dispute.

3. If one Party to a dispute fails to nominate an 
arbitrator as provided in subparagraph l(i) within sixty 
days from the date of receipt of the notification for 
arbitration, the other Party may request the submission 
to the Secretary-General of the Organisation within a 
period of thirty days of an agreed list of qualified 
persons. The Secretary-General shall select the Chairman 
of the Tribunal from such list as soon as possible. The 
Chairman shall then request the Party which has not 
nominated an arbitrator to do so. If this Party does not 
nominate an arbitrator within fifteen days of such 
request, the Secretary-General shall, upon request of the 
Chairman, nominate the arbitrator from the agreed list of 
qualified persons.

4. In the case of the death, disability or default of an 
arbitrator, the Party to the dispute who nominated him 
shall nominate a replacement within thirty days of such 
death, disability or default. If the Party does not 
nominate a replacement, the arbitration shall proceed 
with the remaining arbitrators. In the case of the death, 
disability or default of the Chairman, a replacement 
shall be nominated in accordance with paragraphs 1(ii) 
and 2 within ninety days of such death, disability or 
default.

 5. A list of arbitrators shall be maintained by the 
Secretary-General of the Organisation and composed of 
qualified persons nominated by the Parties. Each Party 
may designate for inclusion in the list four persons who 
shall not necessarily be its nationals. If the Parties to 
the dispute have failed within the specified time limits 
to submit to the Secretary-General an agreed list of 
qualified persons as provided for in paragraphs 2, 3 and 
4, the Secretary-General shall select from the list 
maintained by him the arbitrator or arbitrators not yet 
nominated.


Article 5

    The Tribunal may hear and determine counter-claims 
arising directly out of the subject matter of the 
dispute.


Article 6

    The Tribunal may, at the request of one of the 
Parties to the dispute, recommend interim measures of 
protection.


Article 7

    Each Party to the dispute shall be responsible for 
the costs entailed by the preparation of its own case. 
The remuneration of the members of the Tribunal and of 
all general expenses incurred by the arbitration shall be 
borne equally by the Parties to the dispute. The Tribunal 
shall keep a record of all its expenses and shall furnish 
a final statement thereof to the Parties.


Article 8

    Any Party which has an interest of a legal nature 
which may be affected by the decision in the case may, 
after giving written notice to the Parties to the dispute 
which have originally initiated the procedure, intervene 
in the arbitration procedure with the consent of the 
Tribunal which should be freely given. Any intervenor 
shall participate at its own expense. Any such intervenor 
shall have the right to present evidence, briefs and oral 
arguments on the matter giving rise to its intervention, 
in accordance with procedures established pursuant to 
Article 9 of this Annex but shall have no rights with 
respect to the composition of the Tribunal.


Article 9

    A Tribunal established under the provisions of this 
Annex shall decide its own rules of procedure.


Article 10

1. Unless a Tribunal consists of a single arbitrator, 
decisions of the Tribunal as to its procedure, its place 
of meeting, and any question related to the dispute laid 
before it, shall be taken by majority vote of its 
members. However, the absence or abstention of any member 
of the Tribunal who was nominated by a Party to the 
dispute shall not constitute an impediment to the 
Tribunal reaching a decision. In case of equal voting, 
the vote of the Chairman shall be decisive.

2. The Parties to the dispute shall facilitate the work 
of the Tribunal and in particular shall, in accordance 
with their legislation and using all means at their 
disposal:

   (i) provide the Tribunal with all necessary documents 
and information; and

   (ii) enable the Tribunal to enter their territory to 
hear witnesses or experts, and to visit the scene of the 
subject matter of the arbitration.

3. The failure of a Party to the dispute to comply with 
the provisions of paragraph 2 or to defend its case shall 
not preclude the Tribunal from reaching a decision and 
rendering an award.


Article 11

    The Tribunal shall render its award within five 
months from the time it is established unless it finds it 
necessary to extend that time limit for a period not to 
exceed five months. The award of the Tribunal shall be 
accompanied by a statement of reasons for the decision. 
It shall be final and without appeal and shall be 
communicated to the Secretary-General of the Organisation 
who shall inform the Parties. The Parties to the dispute 
shall immediately comply with the award.