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Cablegate: Colombia: Land-Based Sources Protocol Demarche

VZCZCXYZ0017
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #2803 2442100
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 012100Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0457

UNCLAS BOGOTA 002803

SIPDIS

PASS TO ROBERT DOMAINGUE, OES/OPA
STATE PASS TO PATRICK COTTER, U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
AGENCY
STATE PASS TO ELIZABETH MCLANAHAN, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND
ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIS SENV PHSA CO
SUBJECT: COLOMBIA: LAND-BASED SOURCES PROTOCOL DEMARCHE
DELIVERED

REF: STATE 80046

1. (SBU) EconOff delivered reftel message to the Ministry of
Environment's Minister Carlos Costa, Vice Minister Claudia
Mora, and International Relations advisor Giannina Santiago.
Minister Costa recognizes the importance of the Land-Based
Sources (LBS) Protocol and has instructed the Ministry to
initiate the ratification process. Santiago added that the
Ministry is preparing the necessary paperwork to present the
LBS Protocol as a bill in the Colombian Congress during the
current legislative period, possibly by October. Costa added
that the legislative process could take between one and two
years. Vice Minister Mora provided the Embassy an official
response to the LBS demarche.

2. (U) BEGIN TEXT OF INFORMAL TRANSLATION.

Reference: Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-Based
Sources and Activities (LBS Protocol)

It is my pleasure to address you in this occasion with regard
to the Demarche addressing the Protocol Concerning Pollution
from Land-based Sources and Activities (LBS Protocol), which
we received through you from the Government of the United
States.

I am pleased to inform that Colombia is a party of the
Cartagena Convention since 1983, and that it has ratified the
protocols "Concerning Cooperation in Combating Oil Spills in
the Wider Caribbean Region" and "Concerning Specially
Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW)." With regard to the LBS
Protocol, as of today, there is consensus among Colombian
institutions of the benefits of ratifying this instrument,
which incorporates guidelines to respond to the need to
protect the marine environment and human health from specific
and non-specific land-based human activities that are sources
of pollution.

Considering the aforementioned elements, Colombia's Ministry
of Foreign Affairs has requested that this Ministry provide
the necessary input to prepare the justification (Exposicion
de Motivos) for the respective bill of law through which the
instrument would be approved, and that this Vice Ministry is
currently developing.

I take advantage of this occasion to mention that with regard
to the issues under the scope of the LBS Protocol, our
country is working on the prevention of pollution from
non-specific agricultural sources through the development,
since 2007, of the Regional Project, "Colombia, Costa Rica,
and Nicaragua - reducing pesticide run-off to the Caribbean
Sea - REPCar", which has been led by this Ministry with
support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
This project has as its main goal to prevent and reduce
pollution from pesticide run-off in the Caribbean Sea, for
which three components are currently being worked on: a)
Awareness and Training Program for farmers in Colombia's
Caribbean region to make adequate and rational use of
agrochemicals; b) Adoption of best-practices for banana and
plantain farmers; and c) Establishment of a Coastal Pesticide
Monitoring Program.

I appreciate the offer to assist us with all legal and
technical inquiries to continue to advance the process of
ratifying the LBS Protocol.

Please accept the expression of my highest consideration and
regard.

Kind regards,

/s/
CLAUDIA PATRICIA MORA PINEDA
Vice-Minister for the Environment

END TEXT OF INFORMAL TRANSLATION.
Brownfield

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