Water: Habitat Protection
Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife in the Wider Caribbean Region
U.S. Ratifies Protocol to Protect Areas of the Wider Caribbean:
On April 16, 2003, the U.S. became a formal Party to the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) Protocol to the Cartagena Convention. The U.S. Senate ratified the Protocol in September 2002.
The Protocol commits Parties to "...take the necessary measures to protect, preserve and manage in a sustainable way, within areas of the Wider Caribbean Region in which [they] exercise sovereignty, or sovereign rights or jurisdiction:
(a) areas that require protection to safeguard their special value; and
(b) threatened or endangered species of flora and fauna."
The Protocol allows for designation and management of protected areas in the Region, as well as protection of endangered species and their habitats, and support for potential cooperative environmental management activities. The Protocol will enhance protection of sensitive coral reef resources through the International Coral Reef Initiative and the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force. This Protocol is a legally binding environmental treaty for the Wider Caribbean Region. The Convention and its Protocols constitute a legal commitment by the participating governments to protect, develop and manage their common waters individually or jointly.
For further information write to:
Protocol on Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Mail Code 4504T
Washington, DC 20460