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SPAW Consortium

Consortium in Support of the SPAW Programme of the Cartagena Convention

1. Why a Consortium

  • There has been long-term support for the Cartagena Convention, specially its SPAW Protocol, as the only regional marine biodiversity treaty in the Wider Caribbean. The establishment of a Consortium in support of the SPAW Protocol under the Cartagena Convention, will enhance the role of non-governmental organisations and civil society by optimizing their participation and engagement to strengthen the effective implementation of the SPAW Protocol by countries at the national and regional levels.  
  • The Consortium will add value to the implementation of the SPAW Programme and associated Protocol obligations by countries, functioning as a coordinated regional platform, to up-scale best practices, share lessons learned, enhance synergies among its members, recruit commitments from civil society to support capacity building, and to strategically address programme implementation.

2. Who We Are

  • The Consortium is an independent alliance supporting the successful implementation of the Cartagena Convention, and in particular the SPAW Protocol and its associated SPAW Programme.
  • The Consortium is composed of institutional members of major groups and stakeholders [as currently defined by the United Nations Environment Programme] and individuals with expertise, experience, and interest in advancing the objectives of the SPAW Programme.
  • The Consortium has its own governance structure (see item 5 below) and while supporting the implementation of the Cartagena Convention and recognising its governance structures, it is independent from its institutional framework. The Consortium does not duplicate work or competes with the roles or mandates of organisations designated as Regional Activity Centres or which are part of the Regional Activity Networks under the Cartagena Convention. 

3. What We Do

  • Convene regular meetings of members and experts for discussion, emerging issues, joint programming, and partnership opportunities.
  • Provide support to the institutions and Contracting Parties implementing the SPAW Programme which could include expertise, capacity building, and knowledge-sharing. The support will focus mainly, but not exclusively, on the biennium workplan of the SPAW Programme and its key thematic areas. Members may also address areas of interest to the conservation of ecosystems, habitats, and marine species in the region, in line with the objectives of the larger Cartagena Convention and its Protocols.
  • Support implementation of the SPAW Protocol at the national and regional levels, including monitoring, assessments, capacity building, and policy development

4. Who Can Join

  • All organisations/experts that are committed to protecting the quality of the Caribbean Sea are welcomed as members of the Consortium.
  • Members from diverse backgrounds and different geographic areas of the Wider Caribbean are encouraged to join the Consortium.
  • Potential members are asked to sign and submit a statement of commitment to the objectives and obligations of the Consortium, using a form provided by the Consortium for that purpose.

5. Structure of the Consortium

The biennial assembly of members is the policy making body of the Consortium, where policies and new initiatives are presented.

  • The Steering Committee is to be elected every two [2] years by consensus among members, giving preference to a rotation system for the lead in coordination. The Steering Committee coordinates the work of the Consortium through the network.
  • The Steering Committee is responsible for convening regular meetings of members, including a ‘’Forum’’ for open discussions on various issues, preparing documentation as appropriate and minutes of such meetings, coordinating awareness and knowledge dissemination about the SPAW Protocol, and developing new relationships that can facilitate the Consortium’s objectives.
  • The Committee will also coordinate and consolidate, as appropriate, inputs and/or relevant documentation from the Consortium to the formal technical meetings of the SPAW Protocol and/or Conference of the Parties, with a goal of identifying emerging issues, forecasting risks and opportunities, which in turn would further discussions and/or formal integration into the overall SPAW Workplan.
  • The Steering Committee will form ad hoc working groups as necessary to ensure effective functioning of the committee and Consortium. Ad hoc working groups will be authorised during the Assembly of Members.
  • The composition of the Inaugural Steering Committee [These are the founding members of the Consortium]
    • Coordinator – Monitor Caribbean
    • Members – Animal Welfare Institute, Foundation for Development Planning Inc., Lightkeepers Foundation, Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network-WIDECAST, Olga Koubrak (Expert, LLM, Legal Advisor to SeaLife).
  • Members of the Consortium are expected to actively contribute to joint activities and participate regularly in meetings of the Consortium and do so on a voluntary basis.
  • Being a member of the Consortium does not imply membership in an ‘’organisation’’ but commitment to the objectives and work of the Consortium. The bylaws/rules/guidelines for operation of the Consortium will be drafted by the founding members and constructed with input from interested organisations/experts. The bylaws/rules/guidelines will include provisions for minimum requirements in terms of attendance to and participation in different meetings of the Consortium and for disassociation in case of failure of adherence to such guidelines. 
  • An individual or organisation must seek approval of the Steering Committee to issue statements to the public or media in the name of the Consortium or to speak on its behalf.
  • Decisions on activities, initiatives, and work under the auspices of the Consortium are taken by agreement of the majority of members in attendance at the Assembly of Members.

Press Release: Consortium of Civil Society Launched in Support of the SPAW Programme of the Cartagena Convention

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