Developing an outline for the SOCAR is the first step in our efforts to move beyond earlier pollutant loading reports to evaluate environmental conditions of the Convention Area based on issues defined in the LBS Protocol. The goal is to develop a standardized reporting format that would assist contracting parties/countries in reporting on the State of the Convention Area and assist in the development of a regional report. The preliminary objectives are to provide guidance to the Contracting Parties on reporting information for measures adopted, how to show results obtained and difficulties experienced in the implementation of the LBS protocols, how to use data and information for preparing regional reports on the implementation of the LBS Protocol and SOCAR, among others.
Using a multidisciplinary approach, the working group contributes to the sustainable conservation and management of the Caribbean spiny lobster fisheries. In pursuing this goal, the group will contribute to the fulfillment of national and regional responsibilities for the management of Caribbean spiny lobster stock and related or interacting species or fisheries in the WECAFC region under the code of conduct for responsible fisheries, and in accordance with agreed, documented management goals including ensuring the livelihoods of the people depending on these resources.
Using a multidisciplinary approach, the working group will contribute to the sustainable conservation and management of the Queen Conch fisheries and trade. In pursuing this goal, the working group will contribute to the fulfillment of national, regional and international responsibilities and commitments for the management and conservation of and trade in Queen conch and related or interacting species or fisheries in the WECAFC Region under the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and in accordance with agreed, documented management goals including ensuring the livelihoods of the people depending on these resources.
The inclusion of queen conch in CITES has prompted numerous collaborative initiatives to promote its recovery, reduce overfishing and ensure legal, sustainable trade. Particularly since the 2000-reviews, CITES also acted as a catalyst for international cooperation and regional coordination of queen conch management and utilization
You can access here to the relevant information on Queen Conch under CITES topics
The aim is to strengthen collaboration on fisheries data and statistics matters among the three regional fisheries bodies and formulate recommendations and guidelines for data collection and statistics. This Working Group will report to the WECAFC Commission. One of their main activities, will be to develop standardized data collection formats and templates to be collectively considered for coordinated national and regional implementation.
The objective of the Working group is to inform and provide guidance for the management of deep-sea fisheries by WECAFC members, in such a manner as to promote responsible fisheries that provide economic opportunities, while ensuring the conservation of marine living resources and the protection of marine biodiversity and to facilitate the implementation of the FAO International Guidelines for the Management of Deep-sea Fisheries in the High Seas.
Using a multidisciplinary approach, the Working Group will contribute to the sustainable management of recreational fisheries in the WECAFC Region, by providing scientific and management advice to Members of WECAFC based on the best available knowledge. In pursuing this goal the Working Group will contribute to the fulfillment of national and regional responsibilities for the marine environment and for the management of recreational fisheries, and related or interacting species, or other interacting fisheries in the WECAFC Region under the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. This is in line with the principles of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries, the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication, the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security, and in accordance with agreed, documented management goals.
Provide the technical and scientific elements that support the integration of the sport, recreational and cultural fishing in a responsible way for its development in SICA countries, as an instrument to support food security and job creation, capitalizing on regional and national experience existing. More information is provided in the ToR below.
The scope of the Working Group is to facilitate the achievement of management objectives as outlined in the respective sub-regional management plan for flyingfish in the Eastern Caribbean, through the application of international best practices consistent with the precautionary, ecosystem and participatory approaches to fisheries management. These management objectives are: a) sustained flyingfish resources (biological objective), b) optimal use of the flyingfish resource for long-term benefit (socio-economic objective), and c) sustained ecosystem health (ecological objective).
The working group will carry out the following tasks:
The objective of the working group IUU fishing is to improve coordination and cooperation between national organizations/institutions responsible for fisheries-related to monitor control and surveillance S in support of their common efforts to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing.
The objective of the Working Group is to provide a basis for the conservation and sustainable management of shark populations in WECAFC member countries. In pursuing this goal, the Working Group will be supporting the members in fulfilling the national and regional responsibilities for the conservation and management of sharks as specified by WECAFC.
Provide technical advice with a regional focus to the fisheries authorities in the Region through the Regional Directorate of OSPESCA. Specifically, determine, coordinate and monitor actions aimed at managing the good use and conservation of sharks and highly migratory species. You can download the ToR here :
Sharks were first included in Appendix II of CITES in February 2003, after the Conference of the Parties to CITES decided at its 12th meeting to include the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) and whale shark (Rhincodon typus) in Appendix II, in accordance with Resolution Conf. 9.24 on Criteria for amendment of Appendices I and II. Species included in Appendix II are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but international trade is controlled to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival. This section wants to share CITES information on sharks and rays and the ongoing efforts to implement these decisions. Please follow this link for access.
The scope of the ad hoc working group is the development and management of moored FAD fishing in the WECAFC [Area 31], in a manner that is consistent with the long-term sustainability of associated pelagic fish resources and through the application of international best practices consistent with the precautionary and ecosystem approaches to fisheries management. The working group will take a multidisciplinary and participatory approach to the sustainable development of MFAD fishing for pelagics resources and will contribute to the fulfillment of national and regional management responsibilities for shared pelagic fish stock management
ABS is the rules and principles regarding how a country’s genetic resources and traditional knowledge of these resources are acquired by researchers, companies or other countries and how the resulting benefits are shared. It seeks to promote fairness and equity under the Nagoya Protocol.
The cooperation among countries in the use of genetic resources may lead to groundbreaking advances in medicine, trading of derived goods, the provision of employment, and other mutual benefits. For ensuring that these benefits are maximized and transcend generations, there must be greater awareness of ABS issues on the part of governments, researchers, and civil society.
In this section, you can find resources/information on ABS in the Caribbean region.
This working group monitors the implementation of the new Fisheries and Aquaculture Integration Policy, recommending pertinent actions for its better implementation. This involves promoting an interdisciplinary methodology and, when appropriate, with a sectoral nature. Specifically, the group will promote national fisheries and aquaculture institutions incorporate into their institutional programs the components and actions of the new Policy, in support of the SICA / OSPESCA Regional Directorate. You can access the Terms of Reference below (Spanish only).
The task of the Working Group is to identify and promote the actions to be carried out for the implementation and monitoring of the SSF Guidelines at the regional level of the SICA countries. The ToRs for this working group can be found below.
The working group will address issues of gender equality and equity in fisheries and aquaculture within the framework of the Policy for the Integration of Fisheries and Aquaculture, capitalizing on existing regional and national experience and seeking harmonization at the decision-making level. Among their main responsibilities is to propose, and when appropriate, participate in the execution of the actions related to gender equality and equity within the framework of the Integration of Fisheries and Aquaculture of SICA countries. Especially those aimed at economic autonomy.
Detailed information on this Working Group can be accessed in the ToR below
It is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the legal framework for countries in the American Continent to take action in the benefit of these species. The IAC entered into force in May of 2001 and currently has sixteen Contracting Parties. The convention promotes the protection, conservation, and recovery of the populations of sea turtles and those habitats on which they depend, on the basis of the best available data and taking into consideration the environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural characteristics of the parties.
You can find more information and reports issues by IAC here
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
These committees were created to fill gaps in biological and other specialized knowledge regarding species of animals and plants that are (or might become) subject to CITES trade controls. Their role is to provide technical support to decision-making about these species.
Further information, relevant documents and more can be accessed through these links:
The PA Finance WG is a diverse group of 102 members from 31 countries. Their goal is to advance global thinking and planning for sustainable financing of protected area systems, development of global guidance on PA financing systems, share information and best practices to support PA financing initiatives, preparation of global reports, among others.
Visit this link to know more about their work
The objective of Innovation Working Group is to identify, research, field-test and disseminate information about a range of finance mechanisms that can be applied to achieve conservation outcomes. It will explore pilot opportunities such as mortgaged-backed securities, derivatives, and effluent credit trading and wildlife-friendly commodity markets to protect threatened landscapes and species, demonstrating how ideas can contribute to conservation. For more information, visit this page
The mission of the CFA's Environmental Funds Working Group is to encourage promotion, knowledge transfer and exchange about environmental funds among relevant funds, donors and NGOs. The purpose of these environmental funds, and thus the WG’s aim as well, is the protection of global biodiversity. Visit here for more!
The Marine and Coastal Finance Working Group seeks to consolidate and share knowledge and experience around conservation finance solutions pertinent to these critical conservation targets. The long-term objective is to build capacity among marine and coastal conservation and sustainable use practitioners in the knowledge and use of conservation finance solutions. Click here for more information and news!
This committee was established in 1975, to promote and strengthen economic and social cooperation and integration among the countries of the Caribbean and to promote cooperation between them and integration processes of Latin America and the Caribbean.
You can find further information and updates in the following link.
The Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean Region is a comprehensive, umbrella agreement for the protection and development of the marine environment. This regional environmental convention provides the legal framework for cooperative regional and national actions in the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR).
The Cartagena Convention is supported by three technical agreements:
To read more on the Cartagena Convention, you can click here
The Protocol Concerning Co-operation and Development in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean Region (the Oil Spills Protocol) was adopted concurrently with the Cartagena Convention in 1983 and entered into force in 1986.
The objectives of the Protocol are to:
The Assessment and Management of Environment Pollution (AMEP) Sub-Programme of the Caribbean Environment Programme coordinates activities related to the Oil Spills Protocol with the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency, Information and Training Centre (REMPEITC-Carib) located in Curacao, and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Three such ad hoc working groups, dedicated respectively to Protected Areas, to Species and to Exemptions, already exist and should be updated and re-endorsed by the contracting parties under these Terms of Reference (ToR).
The Working Groups facilitate ongoing discussions on topics of interest to Contracting Parties and observers. There is no limited timeframe for Working Groups; they can remain in existence whilst there is a need for them. Once established, they remain an active standing committee unless otherwise designated by the STAC.
Following the entry into force of the LBS Protocol in August 2010, Article XIV of the LBS Protocol established the LBS STAC. Under Article XIII.2.c, the Secretariat of the Cartagena Convention is responsible for providing such assistance that the STAC may require to carry out its functions, as referred to in Article XIV. We have gathered the following information from the first four meetings:
The SAG is constituted of five scientists with suitable scientific qualifications and experience in fisheries who serve in their personal capacity. The SAG provides scientific advice to the Commission and its ad hoc working groups, assesses and reports to the Commission on the status of stocks in the area covered by the Commission and accesses the situation, trends and prospects of fisheries in the region. The SAG meets every two years in the year when the Commission meets.
The SAG meeting documents can be accessed here
The Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD) was established with the mission of developing a regional regime of environmental cooperation and integration that contributes to improving the quality of life of the populations of its Member States, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Republica Dominicana.
The CCAD has established the following thematic committees:
The Caribbean Fishery Management Council, with headquarters in Puerto Rico, is responsible for the creation of management plans for fishery resources (FMPs) in the US Caribbean Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off PR and the USVI. FMPs are submitted to the US Secretary of Commerce for approval and implementation in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Once implemented, local Governments may adopt compatible legislation for the conservation of the fishery resources within local waters. The CFMC has established the following Advisory Panels:
IAC is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the legal framework for countries in the American Continent to take actions in the benefit of these species.
The IAC Scientific Committee is constituted by one scientist designated by each Party, in addition to specialists nominated by consensus among the States to include all fields of knowledge not represented by the members present. The function of this committee is to provide scientific advice to the Conference of the Parties to comply with the objectives of the Convention. Further information on the ongoing work can be accessed here
ICCAT compiles fishery statistics from its members and from all entities fishing for these species in the Atlantic Ocean, coordinates research, including stock assessment, on behalf of its members, develops scientific-based management advice, provides a mechanism for Contracting Parties to agree on management measures, and produces relevant publications. ICCAT has established the following committees:
The Marine Mammal Commission, an independent agency of the U.S. Government, provides independent, science-based oversight of domestic and international policies and actions of federal agencies addressing human impacts on marine mammals and their ecosystems. Their mission is largely driven by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), a national policy created for preventing depredation of marine mammal species and population stocks.
You can learn more on the Marine Mammal Commission here
As the oldest and most established of the IWC's committees, the Scientific Committee is involved in the majority of IWC work. You can find in this link information about research funds, Partnerships, workshops, reports and more.
The IWC Conservation Committee considers a wide range of cetacean conservation issues, and its role continues to evolve. The Conservation Committee collaborates closely with the Scientific Committee to understand and address a range of threats to whales and their habitats.
The varied work programme currently includes:
Read more here
The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an international Inter-Governmental Organization dedicated to regional integration in the Eastern Caribbean. OECS came into being in 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean Countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate and promote unity and solidarity among the Members. The OECS is guided by six strategic objectives, works across its programmatic areas and in all Member States to consolidate the single economic space to enhance economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection:
You can access to more information on OECS here.
IOCARIBE is a regional subsidiary body of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). This entity is responsible for the promotion, development, and coordination of IOC Marine scientific research programmes, taking into account the specific interests and needs of the Member States in the Region.
The major objectives are:
For more, please visit the IOC UNESCO website
The UN Environment Caribbean Environment Programme acts as a co-host of the Regional Platform for Marine Litter with the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) is working to support the Global Partnership for Marine Litter and to implement the Caribbean Regional Action Plan for Marine Litter Management.
The platform has developed five initial project concepts and is in various stages of implementation:
Find out more on this UNEP CEP Platform here.
RAC-SPAW's mission is to promote regional cooperation for the protection and development of the Greater Caribbean Region. To this end, RAC-SPAW implements the four axes of the two-year program established by the Conference of the Parties, I) Appendices and Databases, ii) Ecosystems, iii) Marine Protected Areas, and iv) Cooperation and guidelines
The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) was established in 1995, initially with the primary task of reporting on the condition of the world’s coral reefs. Since then GCRMN has produced a range of global, regional and thematic reports on coral reef status and trends.
The GCRMN Caribbean chapter has made achievements related to an On-line platform, guidelines for coral reef biophysical monitoring and guidelines for integrated coral reef monitoring, and harmonized data collection. For detailed information, visit this site.
The objectives of this platform are supportive of the 10- year Strategic Action Programme for the CLME+ Project and the associated long-term vision of a healthy marine environment that provides benefits and livelihoods for the well-being of this region and beyond. As key commitments, they have established the following:
For more information on this platform, please visit this site
The Global Partnership on Marine Litter Platform
The purpose of this global partnership is to promote the development and implementation of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) on a regional basis.
As high-level objectives:
a. To create an effective regional network of public and private bodies to promote the objectives of the GPML
b. To ensure representation from relevant governance, industrial/commercial, academia, education, citizen groups and other relevant organizations
c. To promote the implementation of the GPML approach by developing regionally-appropriate communication channels, encouraging the exchange of expertise and good practice, providing advice and training, developing cost-effective monitoring programmes and undertaking practical exercises to raise awareness.
Please follow this link to access to the regional node contacts for the Wider Caribbean Region
The GPML Caribbean Node represents a partnership for national and regional organizations, governments, research, and technical and individuals that work together to reduce the quality and impact of marine litter in coastal zones of the Wider Caribbean region. Access to their projects, resources, opportunities, and more in this link.
CAST serves as an initiative of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) to provide tourism enterprises with sustainability resources, best practices and work alongside CHTA committees to provide support for the advocacy of sustainable advances within the hotel and tourism sector of the Caribbean. CAST is present throughout the region to serve as resources for sustainable tourism and awareness.
The CBF is the realization of a vision to create reliable, long-term funding for conservation and sustainable development in the Caribbean Region. The CBF and the group of National Conservation Trust Funds (NCTFs) together form the Caribbean Sustainable Finance Architecture. The CBF is working as an umbrella fund with a flexible structure to implement innovative solutions for resource mobilization at the regional level, the CBF currently has two programs:
Access to more information on CBF work here.
The Regional Marine Pollution Emergency, Information and Training Centre – Caribe contributes to the sustainability of the marine environment in the Wider Caribbean Region by assisting countries to implement international conventions created to reduce pollution from ships.
Activities are largely funded by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
RAC/REMPEITC-Caribe assists countries in the Wider Caribbean Region to prevent and respond to pollution in the marine environment through:
• Developing and assessing national and multilateral contingency plans
• Training and workshops
• Technical support and consultancy
• Information and public awareness
Access to the RAMPEITC platform here
Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) were established to provide science capacity and technical expertise for meeting shared natural and cultural resource priorities. By building a network that is collaborative, non-regulatory, adaptive, and grounded in science, LCCs are working to ensure the sustainability of our economy, land, water, wildlife, and cultural resources.
You can access to LCCs science catalog, resources, news, and more here.
It is the leading global professional alliance of conservation finance experts, practitioners and organizations. The CFA's mission is to promote awareness, expertise, and innovation in conservation finance globally. Conservation finance instruments and solutions seek to leverage and effectively manage economic incentives, policies, and capital to achieve the long-term wellbeing of nature and the services nature provides to society. Their collaborative network of volunteer members participate in CFA's Working Groups (WG), Task Forces (TF), Executive Committee (ExCo) and Secretariat and promote knowledge and the effective use of conservation finance tools in their activities across the planet. You can access to more information here.
The IMA has been designated as a Regional Activity Centre for the English speaking islands of the Caribbean, undertaking activities aimed at implementing the Protocol on Land-Based Sources (LBS) of Pollution at the regional level. The LBS Protocol provides the framework for addressing pollution based on national and regional needs and priorities. It is focused on addressing the sources of pollution and promotes Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), and the application of the most appropriate technologies, and best management practices.
You are invited to visit their website and check the latest news on IMA
The Regional Activity Center (RAC) for the Protocol concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities (LBS Protocol).The Center of Engineering and Environmental Management of Coasts and Bays (CIMAB) was designated as one of the two Regional Activity Centers (RAC) for the Protocol concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities (LBS Protocol) in May 2002 at the Tenth Intergovernmental Meeting of the Caribbean Environment Programme. The mission of LBS/RAC-CIMAB is to contribute to the preservation of the marine and coastal environment, by means of research and application of sound scientific and technical solutions for the evaluation and control of marine pollution originating from land-based sources and activities.
This network is coordinated by NatureServe and OCTO, is a 8,000+ member network of coastal, marine, and other conservation and management practitioners working to promote healthy ecosystems and communities through the use of tools that help incorporate ecosystem considerations into management.
You can access their resources by visiting the following link.
The IWC is the global body charged with the conservation of whales and the management of whaling. The IWC currently has 88 member governments from countries all over the world.
In addition to the regulation of whaling, today's IWC works to address a wide range of conservation issues including bycatch and entanglement, ocean noise, pollution and debris, a collision between whales and ships, and sustainable whale watching.
You can access to more information on IWC here
The IWC as a leading global body addressing cetacean science, conservation and management has endorsed a new Bycatch Mitigation Initiative (BMI). In collaboration with other organizations, national governments, and fishing communities, this aims to develop, assess, and promote effective bycatch prevention and mitigation measures worldwide. Read more on this initiative here.
Highly migratory species (HMS) travel long distances and often cross domestic and international boundaries. NOAA Fisheries manages HMS fisheries—tunas, sharks, swordfish, and billfish—in U.S. Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean waters. We:
Develop and implement fishery management plans in cooperation with the HMS advisory panel.
Monitor commercial and recreational catches to ensure compliance with domestic and international quotas and/or catch limits.
Issue permits for commercial and recreational HMS fishing and scientific research.
Implement domestic requirements of the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) and support international negotiations for ICCAT, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
You can read more about NOAA HMS here.