International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Demonstrations of Innovative Approaches to the Rehabilitation of Heavily Contaminated Bays in the Wider Caribbean

The GEF pilot phase project, "Planning and Management of Heavily Contaminated Bays and Coastal Areas in the Wider Caribbean" was a Pre-investment Facility (PRIF) project working in Havana Bay, Cuba; Cartagena Bay, Colombia; Puerto Lim?n, Costa Rica and Kingston Harbour, Jamaica. The project succeeded in achieving its principal objectives, including:

  • 1) development of integrated Investment Action Plans for the rehabilitation and management of the four bays,
  • 2) formulation of proposals for Institutional Strengthening to improve the operational capacities of those institutions responsible for bay management, and
  • 3) identify sources of financing for the implementation of proposed remedial actions.

The PRIF and related national and donor activities have helped to leverage baseline investments in the four bays in excess of $250 million. One of the priority issues in the region identified in the pilot phase project and other studies is the problem of eutrophication resulting from excess inputs of nutrients to the coastal zone and adjacent international waters. Principal sources of nutrient contamination in the four pilot sites include poorly or untreated sewage, agriculture and industrial activities. As a follow-up to the PRIF and on-going baseline, the proposed GEF project will leverage national co-financing to help two of the countries to overcome a number of key barriers to the adoption of best practices that limit the contamination of their national and adjacent international waters.

The project will implement demonstrations/pilot projects to test innovative technical, management, legislative and educational approaches for reducing the input of priority international waters contaminants, the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus, to Havana Bay, Kingston Harbour and the adjacent Wider Caribbean. It will further strengthen and/or help create new institutions responsible for the rehabilitation and sustainable management of the two bays. The project supports the mandate of the Cartagena Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, particularly Article 7, Pollution from Land-based Sources, and Article 13, Scientific and Technical Co-operation, as well as the new Land-Based Sources Protocol currently in preparation. In addition to the demonstrations/pilot projects noted above, UNEP-CAR/RCU will be responsible for regional coordination, including sharing and dissemination of project activities and nutrient pollution control strategies for the Wider Caribbean. Activities will include print and on-line information dissemination, regional workshops and study tours, in order to promote and exchange best practices and lessons learned to other countries in the Wider Caribbean Region facing similar problems with excess nutrients and eutrophication.


Caribbean Sea (LME)


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Documents & Resources
General information
GEF ID 614
Project type Full-Size Project
Status closed (Project Completion)
Start Date 26 Apr 2002
End Date 30 Dec 2011
GEF characteristic:
GEF Allocation to project USD 6,910,000
Total Cost of the project: USD 32,770,000
YES - See results data (614)
Colombia , Costa Rica , Cuba , Jamaica , Regional

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Project contacts
Andrew Menz Deputy Regional Director
Paula Caballero Regional Technical Advisor - International Waters
Timothy Kasten Deputy Director
Roberto Castellanos-Perez Project Manager
Dalgis Barbara Casanas Ayala Civil Engineer: Specialty: Water Supply and Sewerage
Isabelle Vanderbeck GEF IW Task Manager (UNEP)