The listing of Protected Areas under the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) Protocol, as identified under Article 7 of the Protocol, has been made a priority since 2004 by successive Conferences of Parties. The purpose of this list is to identify those areas that are of particular importance to the Wider Caribbean region, that are to be accorded in priority for scientific and technical research and mutual assistance, as well as to protect the listed areas from activities that would undermine the purposes for which they were listed.
The benefits of inscribing PA’s under SPAW are multiple (see document attached)
Appropriate guidelines and criteria on the requirements for listing Protected Areas under the SPAW Protocol have been developed by a dedicated working group of experts and adopted in 2008. A reporting format that aims at helping Parties prepare their presentation reports on the Protected Areas was also developed, and approved by SPAW Parties at the 6th SPAW COP in 2010. An invitation was subsequently sent in December, 2011, by the SPAW Secretariat to SPAW Parties so that they can start submit their PAs for listing under SPAW. An optional web-based tool that follows the reporting format has been developed in order to offer the possibility to prepare and submit reports on-line by the interested Parties. The manager of the protected area creates a presentation report using the interface, includes the necessary supporting documentation and submits to the national SPAW Focal Point for approval. Once the Focal Point has checked the report and asked for modifications if appropriate, he/she validates the report that is then sent to the SPAW-RAC. Once validated, the report is sent to the SPAW Secretariat for an overall assessment of its completion. The SPAW Secretariat with the support of the SPAW RAC then conducts a standard evaluation process which includes external review, in order to determine whether the submitted protected area is consistent with the guidelines and common criteria adopted by the SPAW Parties. The results of this review is presented to the next SPAW Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee scheduled for discussion and decision, and a consolidated tentative list of Protected Areas will be established for presentation at the next SPAW COP for final adoption.