The Regional Activity Centre for the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife for the Wider Caribbean Region
Caribbean Environment Program
Parc National de Guadeloupe
United Nations Environment Programme
Home > Activities > Species protection > Annexes of the SPAW Protocol

Annexes of the SPAW Protocol

All the versions of this article:

The States of the Caribbean region adopted in January 18th, 1990 in Kingston, Jamaica, the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) Protocol and in 1991 the Annexs on species requiring a protection. These fix the list of coastal and marine species of flora (appendix I) and fauna (appendix II), which exploitation is forbidden, and the species of flora and fauna which populations must be maintained at a bearable level (appendix III). By the signature and the ratification of the Protocol, 16 Contracting Parties thus make a commitment to establish, among others, national measures and regional cooperation to ensure the protection and preservation of endangered species.

The Annexs I and II establish the list of flora and fauna species which require the highest level of protection. For those species the any shape of destruction, disturbance is forbidden. Are also prohibited their possession, trade or those of their seeds or eggs. It’s the same for products stemming from these species. Any activity touching their housing environment is particularly regulated. Exemptions, notified to the Secretariat of the Cartagena Convention, are possible for scientific, educational or of management purpose that are necessary for the survival of species or to prevent them from important damage for forests, cultures or ecosytems. Such exemptions may in no circumstances put in danger species and have to be the subject to a declaration with the organization so that the STAC can estimate the relevance of the granted exemptions.

The plant and animal species concerned by the Annex III are the ones for which the exploitation is authorized but regulated so as to ensure and maintain population at an optimal level. The regulations will often aim, for example, at determining selective ways of capture avoiding the local disappearance of a species or to establish periods of closed season for hunting and fishing.

Further to the SPAW COP 8, organized in Cartagena (Colombia) in December 9th, 2014, ten new species were respectively added and listed in the Annexs II (complete protection) and III (measures of sustainable management) of the SPAW Protocol. This amendment of the Annexs is the first since the adoption of the SPAW Protocol in 1990, and represents a significant step for its implementation.

Actually, the number of species present in the three Annexs is :

  • 53 plant species in Annex I
  • 114 species and 3 group of species in Annex II, including all see turtles and marine mammals of the regional
  • 43 plant species and 32 animal species and 5 group of species in the Annex III

In 2014, four (4) of the most important reef building corals of the region were listed under Annex II – Staghorn Coral, Elkhorn Coral, Corail étoilé massif and Mountain Star Coral, two (2) species of birds whose populations are declining overall, the Black-capped Petrel and Bicknell’s Thrush, also now benefit from full protection under Annex II, whereas a species of the White-crowned pigeon, was listed under Annex III. Species of plants were also taken into consideration with the addition of three species of overharvested trees (Guaiacum sanctu,Ekmanianthe longifora, and Bombacopsis emarginata) under Annex III.


To have access to the updated Annexs of the SPAW Protocol, please click on the following link.

Database of protected species listed under the SPAW Protocol
You can search for species listed in the Annexes of the Protocol by keyword (by family, genus, species, scientific name):