REGIONAL AGREEMENT AND FRAMEWORK FOR MARINE MAMMALS CONSERVATION IN THE WCR: THE SPAW PROTOCOL AND THE MARINE MAMMAL ACTION PLAN

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1 REGIONAL AGREEMENT AND FRAMEWORK FOR MARINE MAMMALS CONSERVATION IN THE WCR: THE SPAW PROTOCOL AND THE MARINE MAMMAL ACTION PLAN ALESSANDRA VANZELLA-KHOURI SPAW Programme Officer United Nations Environment Programme Caribbean Environment Programme Regional Coordinating Unit Kingston, Jamaica

2 The Wider Caribbean Region Geographical and political fragmentation (28 states and 10 territories) 5 official languages Disparity in development and economies Diversity in size of island states (1 km2 to 100 km²)

3 The Region s Diversity Reefs cover 26,000 km² (7% of the world s reefs) ~ 32 species of marine mammals 6 species of sea turtles (most threatened or endangered) ~ 1,400 species of fish 2 nd and 3 rd largest barrier reefs in the world (Belize and San Andres Archipelago) 11% of world s corals in the Lesser Antilles

4 The Region s Diversity 5,000 islands ( 2-3% of all vertebrates and plant species) Largest grouping of SIDS in the world High terrestrial island endemism (~50% ) 32 species of marine mammals 2 of the 6 major bird migratory routes from N.A. One of the 4 biodiversity hot spots in the world Reefs generate ~ US $ 1.2 Billion/year (65% diving & recreation) and coastal protection service valued at ~USD 2 Billion

5 Major Issues 10% Caribbean birds globally threatened (IUCN Red List) Reef fisheries overexploited Only 20% sewage discharged in WCR is treated Expansion of coastal development Over 300 MPAs established, only 6% rated as good and 13% partially effective Climate change and natural events (hurricanes, storms) Invasive species (e.g. lion fish!) Jan Pauel Very busy shipping area (oil, cargo, cruises)

6 Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the WCR, Entered into force Only legally binding, regionwide environmental agreement for the Wider Caribbean Region 26 Parties of 28 possible from WCR

7 Article 5 Pollution from Ships Article 6 Pollution from Dumping Article 10 Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife CARTAGENA CONVENTION Article 7 Pollution from Land-Based Sources Article 9 Air Pollution Article 8 Pollution from Sea Bed Activities

8 The Cartagena Convention and its Protocols Cartagena Convention Adopted 1983 Entered into Force 1986 Oil Spills Protocol Adopted 1983 Entered into Force 1986 Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife Protocol Adopted 1990 Entered into Force 2000 Land-based Sources of Marine Pollution Protocol Adopted 1999 Entered into Force 2010

9 SPAW Protocol (1990) The Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW Protocol): protect, preserve and manage sensitive areas protect and preserve threatened and endangered species of flora and fauna protect species of regional concern to prevent becoming threatened or endangered Christine O Sullivan

10 SPAW Contracting Parties Contracting Parties: Barbados Belize Colombia Cuba Dominican Republic France Guyana The Netherlands Panama St. Lucia St. Vincent & the Grenadines Trinidad & Tobago USA Venezuela Signatories: Antigua & Barbuda Guatemala Jamaica Mexico UK (Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts, also not yet Parties)

11 SPAW s Approach Facilitate regional cooperation and in country technical assistance Emphasis on ecosystem-management approach Collaboration and synergies with global related conventions and treaties Coordination and collabration with relevant regional agreements, initiatives and organizations (e.g. IAC, WHMSI, OECS, Caricom, GCFI etc)

12 Structure of the SPAW Protocol General Articles General obligations, Mutual assistance, Public awareness, Scientific Committee Protected Areas Establishment and listing, Protection measures, Planning and management Other Common guidelines and criteria, Exemptions, Environmental impact assessment Protected Species National measures, Cooperative measures, Alien species Annexes Ann. I : Protected flora Ann. II : Protected fauna Ann. III : Fauna&flora regulated use

13 Sea Turtle National Recovery Plans (STRAPs) under SPAW with WIDECAST Antigua & Barbuda Aruba Barbados Belize British Virgin Islands Colombia (in preparation) Costa Rica (in preparation) Netherlands Antilles Suriname St. Kitts & Nevis St. Lucia St. Vincent and the Grenadines Panama Venezuela - Not only a blueprint for national action, but for harmonized regional action as well -

14 The Action Plan for the Conservation of Marine Mammals in the Wider Caribbean (Adopted 2008) Lack of information on status and abundance of MM in the WCR Exploitation of the resource Very limited protective measures Insufficient national capacity Fragmented or non-existing policy Insufficient or lack of enforcement Poor public understanding & awareness

15 Aims of the Marine Mammal Action Plan Management of human interactions and use (assess and mitigate threats, address strandings, take, captivity etc.) Species protection (improve scientific knowledge, maintain or restore abundance, protect habitats etc) - Following the precautionary approach within the context and principles of sustainable development - Laurent Bouveret

16 MMAP Objectives Assist governments with efforts on MM conservation practices and policies Provide a framework for activities at national and regional levels Conservation and recovery of all MM species and their habitats Establishment of regional cooperation programmes to increase knowledge, capacity and better practices Laurent Bouveret

17 5 Year Action Plan Priorities Improve research capacity: Expert group, gaps in knowledge (biology, ecology, genetics etc.), monitoring, protocols and methods Improve knowledge and build alliances to assess and manage: fisheries interactions, habitat degradation, effects of pollution, climate change, vessel strikes impacts Improve capacity to address and manage (regionally, nationally, locally): Strandings, MM watching, marine protected areas, MM in captivity, under water noise (including guidelines)

18 Synergies US Marine Mammal Commission International Whaling Commission Relevant regional organisations and NGOs (plan implementation with ECCEA, ECCN, US NOAA, WDCS, FAO) Strengthen national capacities for stranding response, data gathering and analysis, whale watching operations, MPAs Support national efforts(eg. MPAs, sister sanctuaries, MPAs networks)

19 Synergies Manatee plan implementation (both national and regional activities)

20 SPAW Secretariat UNEP-CAR/RCU Port Royal Street Kingston, Jamaica (876) phone (876) fax Website: Thank you!

Alessandra Vanzella-Khouri, SPAW Secretariat Helene Souan, Director, SPAW-RAC

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