Overview of the SPAW Protocol
The Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) is the only legally binding regional environmental treaty for the Region. The Convention, referred to as the Cartagena Convention, presently has 25 (out of 28 possible) States that are Contracting Parties. The Convention and its Protocols constitute a legal commitment by these countries to protect, and manage their common coastal and marine resources individually, jointly, and in a sustainable manner. The Cartagena Convention and its Protocols enhance not only protection but also development, as specifically noted in its provisions.
Adopted in Kingston, Jamaica by the member governments of the Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) on 18 January 1990, the SPAW Protocol preceded other international environmental agreements in utilising an ecosystem approach to conservation. The Protocol acts as a vehicle to assist with regional implementation of the broader and more demanding global Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The SPAW Protocol achieves its objectives primarily through four mutually supporting programme elements coordinated through its secretariat in Kingston, Jamaica.
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The SPAW Sub-Programme of the Caribbean Environment Programme is the operational entity within the CAR/RCU responsible for coordinating activities in support of the SPAW Protocol. The SPAW Sub-Programme supports countries in meeting objectives of global conventions and initiatives such as the CBD, the Ramsar, CMS, and CITES Conventions, as well as the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI).
Signatories to the SPAW Protocol
The Protocol was signed on 18 January 1990 and ratified by the following Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region:
- The Bahamas
- Antigua and Barbuda*
- Republic of Colombia
- Republic of Cuba
- Dominican Republic
- Republic of France
- Republic of Guatemala*
- Kingdom of the Netherlands
- Saint Lucia
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland*
- United States of America
- Republic of Venezuela
(*Have not yet ratified)
For current information on countries that have signed/ratified the SPAW Protocol please visit this table.
For information on how to ratify/accede the Protocol see Ratification.