Rodney Bay Village in Saint Lucia was the scenario of the 5th meeting of the Regional Initiative for the Conservation and Wise Use of Caribbean Wetlands-Cariwet. The opening took place on the 26th July and was made by Dr. Darius Gabriel, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Cooperatives and Ramsar Administrative Authority.
The Contracting Parties discussed the progress and challenges in the implementation of the Convention in the Caribbean and mechanisms to improve its application. The main progresses on implementation are focus on effective management of sites, regulations for protection and public involvement on the sites. Some of the main challenges mentioned were the lack of financial resources and personnel and the lack of awareness about wetlands benefits.
Through a panel on Livelihoods and Climate Change participants discussed the importance of wetlands not only for livelihoods but also their importance for climate change with contributions and experiences from Saint Lucia, Cuba and the UNDP project Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership.
Synergies of Cariwet with the Spaw-RAC-UNEP-CEP Cartagena Convention, the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles, Conservatoire du Littoral and CREHO were also discussed.
It was highlighted the document “Wetlands of International Importance and Sea Turtle Conservation” prepared by the Secretariats of the Ramsar Convention and the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles under the Memorandum of Understanding signed by both Secretariats. See link
The CPs discussed the status of the initiative and the new operational guidelines for regional initiatives approved by Standing Committee 52.
Saint Lucia Ramsar Focal Point organized a visit to the two Ramsar Sites Savannes Bay and Mankòtè Mangrove so participants had the opportunity to learn about the actions taken by the Administrative Authority for the management of the sites.
Report by Maria Rivera, Senior Advisor for the Americas