REGIONAL WORKSHOP OF EXPERTS ON THE DEVELOPMENT
OF THE MARINE MAMMAL ACTION PLAN FOR THE WIDER CARIBBEAN
Bridgetown, Barbados, 18 - 21 July 2005
from government authorities, NGOs and scientific sectors
from around the Wider Caribbean met in Barbados to formulate
an Action Plan for Marine Mammals of the region. About 35
experts from around the Wider Caribbean met from 18-21 July
in Barbados to formulate and discuss the Action Plan. Among
the experts were representatives of the twelve countries
that are Parties to the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected
Areas and Wildlife (SPAW),
a treaty administered by the United Nations Environment
based in Kingston, Jamaica.
The CMS Secretariat attended the meeting and gave a presentation
highlighting the importance of the Convention of Migratory
Species for the SPAW and other agreements.
There are at least 34 species of marine mammals in the
region: whales, dolphins, seals and also the West Indian
Manatee. These animals, which have all been dwindling in
numbers over recent decades, are of significant value to
Barbados is one of the Parties to the Protocol, which became
an international law in 2000. The other Parties are Colombia,
Cuba, Dominican Republic, France, Netherlands, Panama, St.
Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago,
the USA and Venezuela.
The Marine Mammals Action Plan will set a framework to
protect the populations of whales, dolphins and manatees
from a variety of threats, such as entanglement in fishing
nets, bycatch, habitat degradation and coastal development.
In addition, marine mammals als suffer from pollution, noise
and the loss of areas for feeding, breeding or calving.
The Action Plan also aims to promote regional cooperation
on research, information and education and enhance the exchange
of technical expertise. Controversial issues which got a
lot of focus at the meeting, include dolphin trade and whaling.
There are concerns about the increase in dolphin trade and
tourism activities, such as dolphinaria and swimming with
Recommendations of the Workshop
The Workshop recommends that:
1. The draft MMAP, as revised by the Workshop, be presented
to the Third Scientific Technical Advisory Committee (STAC
3), 4-7 October 2005, for consideration and finalization;
2. The current electronic Working Group continues working
in collaboration with the SPAW/RAC and the Secretariat
for any further refinement and progress which could be
required by the STAC for MMAP development;
3. In light of the need to address a number of priority
issues regarding marine mammal conservation in the WCR,
the following actions be implemented as soon as possible
and not wait until the adoption of the MMAP: The Secretariat
established close collaboration with CMS and ACCOBAMS
and other relevant organizations given the experiences
and resources that could be made available for the development
and implementation of the MMAP.
The Secretariat explored the possibility of a Memorandum
of Cooperation (MoC) between the Convention of Migratory
Species (CMS) and the SPAW Protocol, with a view to furthering
the development of the MMAP. For almost 25 years, all States
and Territories of the Wider Caribbean region have participated
in the Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP), a regional
cooperation initiative administered by UNEP.
For further information please contact:
Francisco Rilla: firstname.lastname@example.org
UNEP/CMS Secretariat, Bonn, Germany
Visit the official website of the UNEP
Caribbean Environmental Programme (UNEP/CEP)