What is the SPAW Protocol?

What are SPAW’s areas of focus?

How can SPAW support my marine biodiversity work in the Caribbean?

How can I apply for Small Grants from SPAW?

What are our recent achievements of SPAW?

How many countries have signed/ratified the SPAW Protocol?

What are the benefits to countries who ratify the SPAW Protocol?

How can my country ratify the SPAW Protocol?

Learn more about the projects and activities of SPAW

SPAW Memorandum of Understanding Documents

What is the SPAW Protocol?

A regional agreement for the protection and sustainable use of coastal and marine biodiversity in the Wider Caribbean Region.

Our SPAW programme supports countries to implement their national obligations under the SPAW Protocol.

What are SPAW’s areas of focus? 

  • Marine Protected Areas and Wildlife
  • Threatened and Endangered Marine Species
  • Marine and Coastal Ecosystems 

How can SPAW support my marine biodiversity work in the Caribbean?

  • Improve management of protected areas
  • Conserve threatened and endangered species
  • Assist with other regional and global biodiversity agreements and commitments 

What are the recent achievements of our SPAW Programme: 2015 to 2016?

SPAW Circulation Note: English | Spanish | French

Status of Ratification/Signing of the SPAW Protocol:  
Please see 
complete list of countries who have ratified here


Last updated: 31st March, 2017

What are the benefits to my Government by becoming a party to (ratifying)* the SPAW Protocol?

  • Increased recognition and awareness of national marine protected areas
  • New employment and income generating opportunities
  • Access to Small Grants and other sources of financing 

*Ratification is the process when Governments formally sign on to a regional or international agreement and commit to various national obligations.  

How can my country ratify the SPAW Protocol? 

The national focal point in each country should:  

  1. Consult with other government and non-governmental organizations about the importance of ratification.
  2. Prepare justification letter for ratification.
  3. Obtain cabinet /parliament approval for ratification.
  4. Submit instruments of ratification to: Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombia. 

SPAW Projects and Initiatives

  • The “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean through Ecosystem Based Management” project (EBM)
  • Climate Resilient Eastern Caribbean Marine Managed Areas Network (ECMMAN)
  • Training of Trainers Course on MPA Management Regional
  • Action Plan for the Conservation of Marine Mammals in the Wider Caribbean Region (MMAP)
  • Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems (CLME+) project - via a UN Agency to UN Agency Contribution Agreement (IAA) between the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and UN Environment -CEP (coordinated implementation with the Land-Based Sources of Marine Pollution (LBS) Protocol)

Our Workplan for 2017-2018

English | Spanish | French

Promotional and Awareness Materials on Biodiversity

Download PDF file in English Download PDF file in Spanish Overview of our Marine Biodiversity Programme
Download PDF file in English Download PDF file in Spanish Benefits of Marine Biodiversity/SPAW Protocol
Download PDF file in English Download PDF file in Spanish Ecosystem Based Management (EBM)
Download PDF file in English Sargassum - Fact Sheet No. 1
Download PDF file in English Sargassum - Fact Sheet No. 2
Download PDF file in English Sargassum - Fact Sheet No. 3

SPAW MoU Documents

The Sargasso Sea Commission

SPAW Regional Map

English | Spanish | French


If you have a specific request or question about the SPAW Programme and Protocol, please contact us at rcu@cep.unep.org.

SPAW Protocol Documents

  • SPAW Protocol (text only)

  Download PDF file in English Download PDF file in SpanishDownload PDF file in French

  • Final Act, Resolutions 1990

    Download PDF file in English Download PDF file in Spanish Download PDF file in French

  • Final Act, Resolution, Appendix and Species Annexes I, II, III 1991

    Download PDF file in English

  • SPAW Factsheet

    Download PDF file in English Download PDF file in Spanishpdf-fr.png

  • SPAW Brochure

    pdf-en.png pdf-es.png pdf-fr.png

  • SPAW Benefits Sheet

    Download PDF file in English Download PDF file in SpanishDownload PDF file in French

  • Guildines for Marine Mammal Watching in the WCR
    Download PDF file in English
  • Ratification Map

      Ratification Map