the international launch in Monaco in September, CMS Executive
Secretary Robert Hepworth hosted a Wider Caribbean Launch
Event in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Several local and regional
media such as “The Gleaner” covered the event.
It was held in the margins of the 9th Meeting of the Parties
to the Convention for the Protection and Development of
the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region.
More than 50 delegates and supporters attended the launch
which also featured a “Dolphin” cocktail”
created specially to mark the event.
Regional and local NGOs were especially enthusiastic
about the Year of the Dolphin. The CMS Secretariat invited
new project applications e.g. from the White Water To
Blue Water (WW2BW) initiative which fosters partnerships
throughout the Wider Caribbean Region.
CMS made further practical suggestions to support regional
initiatives linked to the Year of the Dolphin. Co-sponsoring
a meeting or workshop on the Specially Protected Areas
and Wildlife Protocol (SPAW) marine mammal action plan
during 2007 could help to promote the conservation of
these cetacean species. A joint study on the sustainable
use of migratory species resources with a focus on ecotourism
could indicate its potential impact on the economic development
of the region.
Cetacean conservation plays a prominent role in CMS’s
work. Following the COP resolution, CMS has had a strong
mandate from Parties to build up a global initiative on
by-catch. As a result, CMS is about to appoint a full-time
CMS Scientific Councillor operating on this for at least
the next two years. Since the Convention attaches such
high importance to the region, a specifically Caribbean
dimension will be built into this programme.
Institutions dealing with the conservation of migratory
species are already in place in the region, exemplified
by the Caribbean Environment Programme and other networks
working on species groups such as turtles and cetaceans.
As environmental governance foresees an enhanced role
for UNEP, CMS is seeking to strengthen conservation programmes
in the Wider Caribbean Region. “After the accession
of a number of Small Island Development States to CMS
in recent months, we hope that Antigua and Barbuda as
well as Cuba will follow suit and become the first SIDS
in the Wider Caribbean Region to join CMS”, said
The CMS Executive Secretary also gave presentations to
the Meetings of Parties to the Cartagena Convention for
the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment
of the Wider Caribbean and its Wildlife Protocol (SPAW).
Mr Hepworth expressed his gratitude to Nelson Colmenares
Andrade, Coordinator of the Cartagena Convention, for
becoming one of the first Regional Seas Secretariats to
sign a partnership agreement with UNEP/CMS: He spoke of
the particular relevance of CMS for the Wider Caribbean,
for example the new initiatives on sharks and by-catch
as well as existing projects on marine turtles.
here to view the Executive Secretary’s statement
at Montego Bay.