New Caribbean agenda

Published: Friday 30 June 2000

nine nations have ratified a historic agreement to protect the Caribbean Sea flora and fauna under the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (spaw) Protocol. The protocol is now legally binding for these nine member nations, namely Saint Lucia, Columbia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Panama, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.

Created in 1990 by the 28 member states of the Cartagena Convention, the spaw Protocol will protect species of fauna and flora listed in the protocol's three annexes, including all species of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), sea turtles, crocodiles and coral reefs. Other countries have recently announced their intention to ratify the protocol. They include Belize, Dominica, France, Jamaica and the uk.

Welcoming the ratification of the protocol by the nine nations, John Frizell, Greenpeace International Ocean campaigner, pointed out: "This Protocol will not become effective until all of the Cartagena Convention Member States have ratified it, most notably the us, Mexico, France and the uk."

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