Overview of the SPAW Protocol
The Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region (the Cartagena Convention) is a legally binding environmental treaty for the Wider Caribbean Region. The Convention and its Protocols constitute a legal commitment by the participating governments to protect, develop and manage their coastal and marine resources individually or jointly.
The Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (the SPAW Protocol) has been internationally recognised as the most comprehensive treaty of its kind. Adopted in Kingston, Jamaica by the member governments of the Caribbean Environment Programme 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 objective of the Protocol is to protect rare and fragile ecosystems and habitats, thereby protecting the endangered and threatened species residing therein. The Caribbean Regional Co-ordinating Unit pursues this objective by assisting with the establishment and proper management of protected areas, by promoting sustainable management (and use) of species to prevent their endangerment and by providing assistance to the governments of the region in conserving their coastal ecosystems.
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The SPAW Sub-Programme of the Caribbean Environment Programme is the operational entity within the CAR/RCU responsible for co-ordinating 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 by the following Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Republic of Columbia
- Republic of Cuba
- Republic of France
- Republic of Guatemala
- United Mexican States
- Kingdom of the Netherlands
- Saint Lucia
- Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- United States of America
- Republic of Venezuela
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.
- Antigua and Barbuda