Protected areas in the wider Caribbean Region

Strengthening and Management of Protected Areas in the Wider Caribbean Region

The establishment and management of Protected Areas are addressed by Articles 4 to 9 of the SPAW Protocol.

The main objectives of this programme element are to:

  1. Strengthen the management of protected and/or managed areas of the WCR, including the establishment of networks of MPAs and/or MMA’s and supporting communication between protected areas, personnel and stakeholders within the region;
  2. Assist governments with the development of human capacity to increase the effectiveness of these areas, both at individual sites and for national systems;
  3. Sensitize governments about the need and importance of financing protected areas, and to promote the development of funding mechanisms and strategies for successful protected area management; and
  4. Promote or manage protected areas in the context of conserving important natural resources necessary for the sustainable development of the region.
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Marine Protected Areas/Marine Managed Areas Activities

Activities to strengthen these areas are implemented primarily through the Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Management Network and Forum (CaMPAM) created in 1997 by UN Environment-CEP to assist countries with MPA management issues through:

  • A Small Grants Programme to facilitate exchange of experiences and lessons learnt between MPA managers/practitioners and fisheries managers.
  • Enhancement of communications and exchanges through the existing electronic list and forum to build capacities.
  • Training activities under the Training of Trainers (ToT) programme on MPA management in partnership with local and regional organizations, covering themes such as:
    • planning and management tools
    • sustainable financing, business planning and alternative livelihoods
    • evaluating and restoring coastal ecosystem services,  particularly coral reefs, mangroves, sea grass beds
    • development of effective communication tools
    • training on effective enforcement practices
    • involvement of community stakeholders in MPA management
    • providing opportunities for mentoring with more experienced  MPAs
    • development of proposals to address specific and targeted MPA needs
  • Enhancement of the regional MPA database.  This regional web-based database includes 77 fields and serves as a repository for standardized MPA information and as a resource for producing regional analysis and reports on MPAs.


Recently Concluded Courses -


Plans for the 2017-2018 Biennium:

  • Major projects

    1.) The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/GEF funded project “Catalysing Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of Shared Living Marine Resources in the Caribbean and North Brazil (CLME+)” is a 5 year (2015-2020), USD12.5 million project that seeks to facilitate ecosystem based management (EBM) and an ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) within the CLME+.

    The project is implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) with the activities within the Caribbean region supported by the SPAW and Assessment and Management of Environmental Pollution (AMEP) sub-programmes.

    The SAP: A 10-year Strategic Action Programme (SAP) for the sustainable management of shared Living Marine Resources in the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems

    The CLME+ SAP (2015-2025) is a key output for the first UNDP/GEF CLME Project (2009-2014). Read the SAP Booklet here for more details.

    2.) Strengthening of MPAs will be addressed through the implementation the project “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean” (more details below)


    Biodiversity for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean through Ecosystem Based Management

    The project was signed in late 2014 with funding (€1,350,000 for 3 years orginally) from the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development (IACD) of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The project has since been extended for another year (April 2019) to facilitate the completion of current activities along with new partnership agreements following the regional workshop in Panama, December 2017.

    Its overall objective is to “enhance the livelihood of the populations of the WCR by contributing to the conservation and sustainable management of coastal and marine biodiversity through the application of the Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) approach”.

    A series of pilot projects in selected protected areas of SPAW Parties are on-going:

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    The project will develop a Decision Support System (DSS) tool for the area in consultation with all stakeholders, a management plan, as well as update existing plans for the protected areas involved/as required, and enhance capacities to integrate EBM tools and concepts within management through trainings and technical assistance ($350,000).

    • Small Scale Funding Agreement with Reef Check Dominican Republic - signed in December 2015 to support the gathering of data and information for the DSS for the selected pilot area (mentioned above) and training DSS activities. This also included the updating and delivery of the regional MPA ToT course held in Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic, 26 September – 7 October 2016, and support to the evaluation of the CaMPAM activities ($175,000).
    • Small Scale Funding Agreement with GCFI - signed in December 2015 for the updating of the Regional MPA Database, support to the CaMPAM MPA-related sessions and the participation of MPA practitioners from SPAW Parties at the 69th Annual GCFI Conference in November 2016 ($194,000).
    • Small Scale Funding Agreement with CERMES – signed in November 2017 for Convening the XIII edition of the Training of Trainer (ToT) Regional course on MPA Management (scheduled for 16-26 April 2018, Bridgetown Barbados – see below) and serving as a Regional Node for EBM/DSS dissemination and future application (USD126,500).
    • Two-year agreement with PROGES Italian consulting firm - signed in April 2016 to develop the software for the DSS and provide training on its application and use ($142,600).
    • Continuation of the mentorship programme and network - to support MPA practitioners (through CaMPAM coordination).
    • Ongoing implementation of the Small and Medium Grants Programme to address specific MPA needs.

    CaMPAM, in coordination with TNC, finalised its responsibilities under the ECMMAN Project. Through the project, MPA funding was provided to 6 Eastern Caribbean countries (Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada) to enhance MPA effectiveness in at least 10 existing marine management areas or MPAs.  This project concluded in March 2017.

    • Continuation of the mentorship programme and network to support MPA practitioners.
    • Continued support to attend MPA-related sessions and the participation of MPA practitioners at the annual GCFI Conferences (2017 and 2018).
    • Efforts to improve the effectiveness of the existing CaMPAM Internet Forum and website. Based on a 2016 analysis of the CaMPAM internet forum and website, both will be improved to ensure accessibility and ease of use in order to encourage the participation of members.The forum will also be redesigned to encourage open and interactive discussions between members and to enhance linkages between MPA managers.



    As a general reminder, for listing of protected areas under the SPAW Protocol as per Article 7 with the
    support of SPAW-RAC, Parties can nominate their protected areas to be nominated in the list
    towards the development of a cooperation programme and network. For more on the
    listing process, criteria and meetings to date visit here.