The State of Nearshore Marine Habitats in the Wider Caribbean report was prepared in the context of the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife Sub-programme and the CLME+ Strategic Action Plan and supports these programmes in highlighting the status and trends of coral reefs, mangrove forests, and seagrass meadows in the wider Caribbean.
The report focuses on three habitats that are characteristic of coastal ecosystems in the wider Caribbean, namely coral reefs, mangrove forests, and seagrass meadows. These three habitats are part of the reef fisheries ecosystem, one of the three focal sub-ecosystems of the CLME+ SAP. Although other sub-ecosystems, such as the mudflats of the North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (NBSLME), are part of the reef fisheries ecosystem, they are not included in this report as the focus is driven by the reporting needs of the SPAW Sub-programme.
The report highlights the status and trends of the three habitats, identifies the drivers and pressures, summarises the interventions to address the pressures, identifies gaps in response, identifies emerging challenges, and proposes actions to improve management of the target habitats. The report also provides background information and context for the development of a Regional Strategy and Action Plan for the conservation of coral reef, mangrove, and seagrass habitats in the wider Caribbean, which is also being prepared by the SPAW Sub-programme of the CEP as an output of the CLME+ Project. The Regional Strategy and Action Plan will be presented to the Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the SPAW Protocol in 2021.
The report is intended to contribute to the preparation of the report on the State of the Marine Environment and associated Economies (SOMEE) in the CLME+ region. In this context, the report is one of several aligned strategies and plans that are intended to protect the integrity of coastal ecosystems and essential biodiversity in the wider Caribbean.
Although this report was prepared in the context of the SPAW Sub-programme and the CLME+ SAP, it supports other initiatives such as the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA Pathway), the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Of particular interest is Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development) and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets 10 and 11 (conservation of valuable and vulnerable coastal ecosystems).