In 1983, the Caribbean nations adopted the Cartagena Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Greater Caribbean Region, the only legally binding regional environmental agreement. Three protocols dealing with biodiversity (Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife – SPAW, 1990), land-based pollution (LBS, 1999) and oil pollution (1983) complete and expand the Convention.
The main objectives of the SPAW Protocol are the protection, preservation and sustainable management of areas of special ecological value and the protection, preservation and conservation of threatened or endangered wildlife species and their habitats.
Initiated in 2000 under an agreement between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the French State, the Regional Activity Centre for the SPAW Protocol (SPAW-RAC) has the following missions in particular:
- Gather, inventory and transmit relevant scientific and technical information, as well as useful experiences to Caribbean actors;
- Develop training and information activities;
- Promote regular exchanges between Caribbean actors;
- Contribute to the development of regional cooperation around the objectives of SPAW.
The CARIB-COAST project ‘Caribbean Network for Monitoring and Prevention of Coastal Hazards and Adaptation to Climate Change’, through its regional approach and its objectives of improving the pooling and dissemination of knowledge and risk prevention approaches, is clearly in line with the action logic of SPAW-RAC.
This project enables the SPAW-RAC to continue developing knowledge and new tools and to equip its existing partner networks, particularly on the theme of coral reefs; the SPAW-RAC being the coordinator of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network – Caribbean (GCRMN Caribbean).
This project allows the SPAW-RAC to continue developing knowledge and new tools and to equip its networks with existing partners, particularly on the theme of coral reefs; the SPAW-RAC is the coordinator of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network – Caribbean (GCRMN Caribbean).
This project also offers the SPAW-RAC the possibility of extending its actions to new partner territories of the project, both Community (French West Indies) and extra-Community (Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Barbados, etc.).
Finally, the participation of the SPAW-RAC in a project with a strong research component makes it possible to bring together field or institutional actors from its networks with Caribbean actors working in more technical/scientific fields (geophysicists, hydrogeologists, historians, etc.), and thus to encourage the cross-fertilisation of disciplines at the heart of the same project.