4th Entry - 10 August 2012

Posted by andre at Aug 13, 2012 04:02 PM |
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In the last month, I have delved more into specific SPAW projects by helping to write progress reports, amend Small-Scale Funding Agreements (SSFAs), and organise documents for filing.

For example, I have learned so much about the Caribbean Challenge, an initiative which seeks to promote the efficient management of marine protected areas with aims to protect 20% of the marine and coastal habitats of Caribbean countries by 2020. The countries involved with the Caribbean Challenge are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, as well as St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Although this project was slated to end early this summer, a majority of the countries required deadline extensions. As such, I was charged with the task of creating amendments to the original SSFAs to allow the project results to come to fruition.

Another project that I have been involved with is the LifeWeb Marine Spatial Planning Project. With funding from the Government of Spain, UNEP/CAR-RCU and its partners are using GIS analysis and mapping to map out and track marine mammal migration, human threats, and area-based management in the Wider Caribbean Region. I had to write a progress report to highlight the key developments and activities that have taken place in the period of January to June 2012 for the LifeWeb project. For example, all of the following were finalized and published earlier this year:

  • Distribution maps for the 25 marine mammal species that occur regularly in the Wider Caribbean (24 cetaceans and the Antillean Manatee);
  • Species richness maps;
  • A series of maps on human impacts and threats;
  • A series of maps on existing protection tools and policies;
  • Synthetic maps displaying species richness together with other issues such as existing and projected MPAs for marine mammals, cumulative human impact or human traffic.

Additionally, several meetings and learning exchanges were held during the reporting period. One of which was an interregional workshop on Broad-scale Marine Spatial Panning and Transboundary Marine Mammal Management that was convened from 21 to 24 May 2012 in Panama City. Here, participants were offered two-days of training on marine spatial planning applicable to marine mammals, and they reviewed the outputs and progress of the overall project. Scenarios for strengthening transboundary governance were also designed for the region.

On a final note, my internship with the SPAW Subprogramme at UNEP/CAR-RCU will soon be coming to end. These past three months have truly been enjoyable and eye-opening, as I have learned so much about the United Nations Environment Programme, its Caribbean Environment Programme and its processes. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have worked in an office that works so hard and contributes so much to the protection and development of the marine environment in the Wider Caribbean Region.

Challenges Faced: Creating a comprehensive and easy-to-follow guide for maintaining and continuing correspondence with invitees of the upcoming CEP Meetings in the Dominican Republic

Lessons Learned: Learning how to research information (whether it is via the internet, old mission reports, or internal documents in the office library) on activities and developments for a project that I am unfamiliar with.