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 > The SPAW Protocol > The SPAW Workings Groups

The SPAW Workings Groups

All the versions of this article:


Working Groups can be established in a formal way or informal manner, nevertheless the Secretariat and the SPAW RAC decided to establish three working group of experts through the different Conference of the Parties (COP). Depending on the nature of their mandate, Working Groups can be composed of Member States’ representatives or scientific experts.

A coordinating organization generally the SPAW RAC and a Working Group Coordinator are identified by the UNEP/CEP Secretariat to organize and facilitate the work of these Working Groups.

The Working Groups are open to other interested Parties, if you are interested in joining them, please contact the SPAW/RAC: chloe.mathieu.carspaw@guadeloupe-pa...

1. The Ad hoc working group on the listing of species to the Annexes was established in 2001 by SPAW Parties, non-Parties, scientific and NGO communities following the SPAW COP1 in Cuba. The members were then selected by the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) Bureau . This multicultural and intersectorial group is composed of 24 experts from 9 territories of the Caribbean region and are representatives from various institutions as NGO’s, department officials, research unit, SPAW RAC and the UNEP/CEP Secretariat.

This group developped criteria for the listing of species in the Annexes to the Protocol. The SPAW Parties approved the Revised Criteria for the listing of species in the Annexes of the SPAW Protocol and the procedure for the submission and approval of nominations of species for Inclusion in or Deletion from Annexes I, II and III in the fall 2004.

This dedicated Working Group provides an opportunity for members to exchange research and management information relative to the conservation of endangered species, to provide a basis for future program and policy development. The members of this Working Group also play a significant role in the assessment of species proposed for listing in the Annexes of the SPAW Protocol.

2. The Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts to develop guidelines and criteria for the evaluation of protected areas to be listed under the SPAW Protocol was established in September 2001 following the SPAW COP1 held in La Havana, Cuba. This group is composed by 9 experts from 5 caribbean territories (French Antilles, Netherlands Antilles, USA, Jamaica and Cuba) from different institutions such as CaMPAM, DCNA, NOAA, UNEP/CEP.

The first task of the Working Group was to develop Guidelines and Criteria for the Evaluation of Protected Areas to be listed under the SPAW Protocol, and to create a reporting format that aims at assisting Parties prepare their presentation reports on the Protected Areas they wish to propose for listing. The guidelines were adopted at the SPAW COP 5 in 2008, and the reporting format at SPAW COP 6 in 2010. A web-based tool that follows the reporting format was also elaborated in 2011 to prepare and submit reports on-line, to host the data provided in the reports and facilitate future compilation and analysis.

The Working group allows members to exchange research and management information relative to the conservation of habitats, to define methods and tools used to evaluate the Protected Areas prior to the listing under the SPAW Protocol and after entering the process.

3. The Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts to develop criteria for the assessment of exemptions regarding Article 11(2)1 of the SPAW Protocol was established in February 2011 by SPAW Parties, scientific and NGO communities following the SPAW COP6 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, 5 October 2010. The draft guidance document relative to criteria and process to assess exemptions under article 11(2) of the SPAW Protocol was approved at COP8 in Cartagena, Colombia, 9 December 2014. The Working group realized a draft format for reporting exemptions to facilitate the submission of proposals from SPAW Contracting Parties that have been transmited for examination by the Paties and observers at the STAC 7 in Miami, 2016, before the final adoption at COP 9.

This Working Group is in charge of the analysis of exemptions submitted to the Protocol and initiates discussions on the reporting and process to follow up on the implementation of exemptions.