All CEP Technical Reports
CEP Technical Report No. 36 1996: Status of Protected
Area Systems in the Wider Caribbean Region
CAYMAN ISLANDS (UNITED KINGDOM)
Area 259 sq. km.
Protected Areas (PAs)
|PAs with Marine or Coastal Zones||Extension|
|World Heritage Sites||0||0||0|
(1) Totals have been adjusted to avoid double counting areas that are classified in 2 or more categories.
Policy and Legislation
Marine protected areas have been designated around Grand Cayman under the Marine Conservation (Marine Parks) Regulations, 1986. Protected areas on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are designated under the Marine Conservation (Marine Parks) (Amendment) Regulations, 1986. This legislation defines three categories of marine parks: environmental zone, replenishment zone and marine park zone (Annex I).
Animal sanctuaries have been declared on Grand Cayman under the Animals Law No. 8, 1976, on Cayman Brac under the Animals (Sanctuaries) Regulations, 1980, and on Little Cayman under and Animals (Sanctuaries) Regulations, 1982. All areas established under this legislation are wetlands and are of importance for bird species.
The National Trust for the Cayman Islands Law, 1987 established the National Trust to preserve the historic, natural, and maritime heritage of the islands. The Trust maintains several areas of land for wildlife conservation.
Conventions & Treaties
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, 1992)
Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region (Cartagena Convention, 1983)
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, 1973)
Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar, 1971)
Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage, 1972)
Programmes & Associations
Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP, 1981) and its Specially Protected Areas & Wildlife Programme (SPAW, 1990)
During 1990, responsibility for all environmental matters, including marine conservation, marine parks, animal sanctuaries etc., was placed in the Portfolio for Education, Environment, Recreation and Culture. This Portfolio is still responsible for museums, the turtle farm, the National Trust and activities related to international agreements.
The Natural Resources Unit, a Department of the Portfolio for Education, Environment, Recreation and Culture, is responsible for the day-to-day management of the natural environment. The Planning Department falls under the jurisdiction of the Portfolio of Communication, Works and Agriculture. A revision of the current development plan was scheduled for 1992.
The National Trust for the Cayman Islands, a statutory, non-governmental organisation, is involved with land acquisition and management for conservation purposes.
The three Cayman Islands are flat, low-lying limestone islands with extensive reef systems. The human populations of the three islands differ considerably, with fewer than 100 on Little Cayman and less than 2,000 on Cayman Brac. This is reflected in the varying degrees to which the islands' environments have been changed. Little Cayman is the least disturbed of the group, with settlement mainly in the vicinity of the south and west coast. In 1980 almost all of that island's interior was untouched (Diamond 1980).
In contrast, the rapid development of Grand Cayman has resulted in degradation of various fragile habitats. Mangrove swamps in Grand Cayman have been particularly vulnerable to development with destruction to form marinas and estate developments. Natural woodland and thicket is also being cleared increasingly for roads, housing, tourism and agriculture.
The eight Protected Areas in Cayman Islands cover just over 8,000 ha, equivalent to 31% of the islands land mass. All but one of the areas contains marine or coastal resources.
Three wetland sites have recently been declared animal sanctuaries (Meagre Bay and Colliers Pond on Grand Cayman and the Rookery on Little Cayman). All of these are land based (Ebanks-Petrie, pers. comm., 1992). In 1989 the government gave 257 ha of land, Salina Reserve, to the National Trust. This area is known as the. The Trust is also joint proprietor of 24 ha on Grand Cayman being developed as a botanical garden, with woodlands being preserved in their natural state. In December 1991 ownership of a 40 ha woodland site on Cayman Brac, important as a nesting area for Amazona leucocephala hesterna, was transferred to the National Trust by The Nature Conservancy (USA) and is now titled Brac Parrot Reserve. The site will form the basis for a larger reserve on Cayman Brac (Ebanks-Petrie, pers. comm., 1992).
Enforcement of conservation legislation is the responsibility of the police. In cases of marine issues, the marine enforcement officers who are employed to the Natural Resources Unit have full constabulary powers. At present there are two marine enforcement officers on Grand Cayman and one on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. A number of volunteer fisheries officers also assist with the enforcement of marine conservation legislation (Ebanks-Petrie, pers. comm., 1992).
The Cayman Islands Government Office, 197 Knightsbridge, LONDON SW7 1RB
Natural Resources Unit, PO Box 486, GEORGE TOWN, Grand Cayman Telephone: (809) 949- 8277 Fax: (809) 949-8469
National Trust for the Cayman Islands, PO Box 10, GEORGE TOWN Telephone: (809) 949-0121 Fax: (809) 949-7494)
Ministry of Agriculture, Environment, Communications, and Works, Cayman Islands Government, Government Administration Building, Grand Cayman. Telephone (809) 949-7900 Fax: (809) 949-2922
Bradley, P. (1986) In: Scott, D.A. and Carbonell, M. A directory of Neotropical wetlands. IUCN, Cambridge and IWRB, Slimbridge, UK. 684 pp.
Diamond, A.W. (1980) Ecology and species turnover of the birds of Little Cayman. Atoll Research Bulletin 241:141-164.
Oldfield, S. (1987) Fragments of paradise. A guide for conservation action in the UK dependent territories. British Association of Nature Conservationists, Oxford. 192 pp.
UNEP/IUCN (1988) Coral Reefs of the World. Volume 1: Atlantic and Eastern Pacific. UNEP Regional Seas Directories and Bibliographies. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK/UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya. 373 pp.
ANNEX I: LEGAL INSTRUMENTS
Definitions of protected area designations, as legislated, together with authorities responsible for their administration.
Title: Marine Conservation (Marine Parks) Regulations; Marine Conservation (Marine Parks) (Amendment) Regulations.
Brief description: Enabling legislation for the designation of marine protected areas. Marine protected areas have been designated around Grand Cayman under the Marine Conservation (Marine Parks) Regulations, 1986, and protected areas on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman under the Marine Conservation (Marine Parks) (Amendment) Regulations, 1986.
Administrative authority: Natural Resources Unit
Marine Park This legislation defines three categories of marine parks:
Environmental zone In which prohibited activities include the removal of any form of marine life, the use of anchors, entry into the water and exceeding a speed of five knots.
Replenishment zone Where the removal of conch and lobster is prohibited and fishing methods restricted.
Marine park zone In which marine life is protected and anchoring forbidden, except in certain circumstances.
Title: Animals Law No. 8, 1976 (Grand Cayman); Animals (Sanctuaries) Regulations, 1980 (Cayman Brac); Animals (Sanctuaries) Regulations, 1982 (Little Cayman).
Date: 1976; 1980; 1982
Brief description: Enabling legislation for the designation of animal sanctuaries.
Administrative authority: No information
Animal Sanctuary Animal sanctuaries have been declared on Grand Cayman under the Animals Law No. 8, 1976, on Cayman Brac under the Animals (Sanctuaries) Regulations, 1980, and on Little Cayman under and Animals (Sanctuaries) Regulations, 1982. All areas established under this legislation are wetlands and of importance for bird species. "The disturbance of any natural feature or any vegetable or animal life" is prohibited.
ANNEX II: CAYMAN ISLANDS PROTECTED AREAS LIST
|Name of area||IUCN & National Mgmt. Categories||Presence of Marine or Coastal Zones||Area
|Little Sound (Grand Cayman)||I||EZ||YES||1,731||1986|
|Bloody Bay Jackson Point||II||MP||YES||161||1986|
|Dick Sessingers Bay Beach Point||II||MP||YES||143||1986|
|NW Point West Bay Cemetery||II||MP||YES||155||1986|
|Victoria House Sand Cay Apartments||II||MP||YES||801||1986|
|Salina (Grand Cayman)||IV||R||YES||257||1989|
|Radio Mast Sand Bluff||IV||MP||YES||177||1986|
|Frank Sound (GCayman)||IV||RP||YES||224||1986|
|Head of Barkers Flats||IV||RP||365||1986|
|Mary's Bay East Point||IV||RP||YES||180||1986|
|North Sound (GCayman)||IV||RP||YES||3,310||1986|
|South Hole Sound (LCayman)||IV||RP||YES||316||1986|
|South Sound (GCayman)||IV||RP||YES||317||1986|
EZ = Ecological Zone
R = Reserves
MP = Marine Parks
RP = Replenishment Zones
Top of Page