National, Regional and International Marine and Environmental Law

Focus: To continually review regional and international legal instruments (conventions, protocols, resolutions and guidelines) to identify gaps in Trinidad and Tobago's marine and environmental laws and policies on matters and make recommendations for their updating.

The marine and environmental laws and regulations, as well as the implementing mechanisms of countries similar to Trinidad and Tobago, are also assessed for possible adoption. Based on these assessments, the Programme drafts and recommends amendments, where necessary, to existing Trinidad and Tobago laws and regulations.

The Programme also provides the legal input to the IMA’s multidisciplinary research projects.  The areas covered include fisheries, coastal area development, shipping, pollution and marine scientific research.

The following are some of the more significant international and regional legal instruments which have been reviewed:

  • The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;
  • The Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Wastes and Other Matters, the London Convention (LC) 1972;
  • The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL73/78);
  • The International Convention Relating to the Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties, 1969 and Protocol of 1973;
  • Convention for the Protection and Development of the Wider Caribbean Region and its Protocols on Oil, Specially Protected Areas, Wildlife and Land-based Sources and Activities and
  • The Draft Code of Conduct for the Prevention of Pollution from Small Ships in Marinas and Anchorages in the Caribbean Region.

The reviews of these instruments have shown the need for a comprehensive marine policy and an integrated approach for the conservation and sustainable development of Trinidad and Tobago’s marine and environmental resources.