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Regional Seas Activities

Sea and Mediterranean with CMS

UNEP/RSP, together with UNEP/CMS, is supporting the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Seas and the Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS) for the development of a Pedagogic Training Kit on Cetaceans in the Mediterranean and Black Sea area. The Training Kit aims to serve as a useful support tool for high level training and compiles and synthesizes the most important and most useful information regarding Mediterranean and Black Sea cetaceans, in order to make it easily accessible and usable for the new comers in the field.

Western Africa

UNEP/RSP is supporting the Abidjan Convention (the Regional Seas programme for Western Africa ) in the preparation of a Regional Status report and preliminary Conservation Strategy for the West African Manatee ( Trichechus senegalensis ) throughout its range. The activity started at the end of 2005. The Conservation Strategy will include a current status report of the West African Manatee, identification of threats and recommendations for protection, including a description of the roles of different stakeholders.


UNEP Regional Seas Programme is supporting the Regional Coordinating Unit for the Caribbean Environment Programme (CAR/RCU), through its Regional Activity Center for the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife protocol (SPAW/RAC) for:

1. The further development and updating of the draft Marine Mammal Action Plan (MMAP) for the Wider Caribbean region.

This MMAP was initiated through an electronic Working Group of Experts and reviewed at the MMAP Regional Workshop of Experts, Barbados , 18-21 July 2005. The Third Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee meeting of the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife protocol (SPAW) in Caracas , Venezuela , 4-8 October 2005 (STAC3) provided further guidance for the finalization of the MMAP. The MMAP will assist Parties to the SPAW protocol and participating governments in the region to develop and improve their marine mammal conservation activities and policies. The Plan will provide a framework for activities, which require regional and global international co-operation, on the basis of respect for the sovereign rights of the participating governments. The MMAP consists of five target areas: policy formation, regulatory and protective measures, increases in scientific knowledge, improvement of law and its application, and enhancement of public understanding.

2. To produce a compilation of:

• i. Bibliography of relevant marine mammal literature in the WCR (in collaboration with relevant experts), categorize it by theme and initiate population of a database with a view to develop a more comprehensive regional database at a later date.
• ii. Relevant conservation, education, and public awareness materials produced in the region;
• iii. Guidelines and criteria associated with captivity (in collaboration with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society);
• iv. Protocols and techniques for responding to strandings; and
• v. Research protocols.

3. To develop and make available a compilation of capacities and capabilities of countries, and institutional support using inter alia the results of the questionnaires (which should also be submitted to non-Parties to complete as possible), and other relevant material.

South East Pacific

In 2004 UNEP/RSP supported the Permanent Commission for the Southeast Pacific (CPPS), the Secretariat for the Regional Seas programme for the SE Pacific region, for convening the 3rd Meeting of Experts to Review the Activities of the Plan of Action for the Conservation of Marine Mammals in the South East Pacific (Lima, Peru, 23-25 March 2004). Examine the achievements during the implementation of the Plan of Action for the Conservation of the Marine Mammals in the South East Pacific. The objective of this meeting was to:

1) Update the knowledge about the state of the marine mammals in the South East Pacific with the presentation of national reports;
2) Know the achievements in the implementation of conservation measures for the marine mammals in the region;
3) Examine the necessity to develop a regional research program for the conservation of the humpback whale;
4) Establish priorities for the program of activities of the Plan of Action for the Conservation of the Marine Mammals in the South East Pacific; and
5) Examine cooperation mechanisms with international institutions such as UNEP, IWC, FAO, IUCN, WWF, among others.

Report on the Workshop of the Third Meeting of experts to review the activities of the plan of action for the conservation of marine mammals in the South East Pacific. [Download]

Report on the Workshop of the Diseases, lesions and malformations in the long-beaked common dolphin Delphinus capensis from the Southeast Pacific. [Download]

Eastern Africa

In 2001, in recognition of the need for effective management of dugongs in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region, the 3rd Conference of Parties of the Nairobi Convention (the Regional Seas programme for the Eastern African region) requested regional and international organizations to facilitate the development of a regional initiative to protect the dugong. In response, UNEP/RSP with assistance from World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for Eastern Africa provided financial support for countries in the region to carry out rapid national assessments of dugong status. These assessments were used to develop a joint publication of the UNEP-Nairobi Convention and WWF titled: “Towards a Western Indian Ocean Dugong Conservation Strategy”. This report is a synthesis of the WIO country reports, and aims to provide a regional synopsis of dugong status and distribution, detect gaps in current knowledge, and identify emergency strategies and actions, thus ensuring more efficient use of both resources and effort.