Aruba had the privilege of hosting COP17, an important event under the Cartagena Convention. The Cartagena Convention is a binding international treaty dedicated to safeguarding and preserving the rich marine life of the Caribbean region. Its primary aim is to address environmental contamination in the Caribbean while fostering sustainable development and responsible natural resource management.
The Cartagena Convention
The Cartagena Convention stands as the only regionally binding treaty dedicated to the protection and development of the marine environment in the Caribbean. It serves as the legal foundation for the Caribbean Environment Programme, and it was initially adopted in Cartagena, Colombia, on March 24, 1983, coming into force on October 11, 1986. For more detailed information on the Cartagena Convention, you can visit the UNEP’s website.
Minister Ursell Arends, responsible for Transport, Integration, Nature, and Elderly Affairs, represented Aruba and the Kingdom of the Netherlands at the conference. This significant gathering occurred from October 2 to 6, 2023, and brought together representatives from various nations to discuss collaborative efforts for the protection and responsible utilization of the Caribbean Sea. Minister Ursell Arends expressed Aruba’s pride in its role as the host nation for the conference, underscoring the collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality of the Netherlands.
Minister Ursell Arends emphasized, “For islands like Aruba, whose economies are intricately tied to environmental conservation, safeguarding our natural surroundings is not merely a choice but an economic imperative. Our focus has been on preserving and enhancing biodiversity, managing and mitigating pollution from both land and sea sources, and fostering regional cooperation.”
Memorandum of Understanding
To further strengthen cooperation with the abovementioned Ministry of the Netherlands, Minister Ursell Arends signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during the conference alongside Minister Christianne van der Wal. This collaborative effort aims to reinforce the connection between the Kingdom of the Netherlands’ constituent countries in terms of natural resource management. The MOU is centered on themes such as nature conservation, food security, compliance with international treaties, and enhancing collaboration within the Kingdom, enabling each constituent country to fulfill its international treaty obligations.