Caribbean Wildlife Treaty Could Become a Reality

Date: May 03, 2001
Contact: David Godfrey
Phone: (352) 373-6441

How You Can Help

Highly endangered sea turtles, eagles, falcons, parrots, whales, dolphins, crocodiles, snakes, iguanas, and other species in the Wider Caribbean region need your help. On January 18, 1990 in Kingston, Jamaica, the United States joined a number of countries in the western hemisphere to sign a protocol concerningSpecially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW). SPAW protects rare and fragile ecosystems and habitats, thereby protecting the endangered and threatened species residing in them. This includes the marine environment of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the areas of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of northern Florida. SPAW also provides direct protection from taking, possession, killing or commercial trade, to wild plant and animal species that are listed under the protocol.

The Treaty has lain dormant in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since 1993, but must be passed as soon as possible! The current roster of nine countries that have acceded to the Treaty includes only countries such as Cuba that have historically advocated weak positions on wildlife conservation and endangered species protection. Without the involvement of the United States there may be no strong conservation voice during the deliberations of the Parties to SPAW. In fact, Cuba is scheduled to host the first important meeting of the Parties this September. The United States must ratify this Treaty!


Contact both of your United States Senators immediately. Urge them to contact Senator Jesse Helms, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, requesting immediate consideration of the Treaty in his Committee. Once approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the full Senate can give its advice and consent to Presidential ratification of the Treaty and the United States will become a Party.

You can phone your Senators at (202)-224-3121 or write to them at
The Honorable
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510