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No succulent species listed at present.

The SPAW Protocol of the Cartagena Convention

The Protocol on Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) was developed under the Cartagena Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region. Annex I of the Protocol lists 56 vascular plant species which are protected from all forms of destruction or disturbance, including picking, collection, or commercial trade. As far as possible, activities which adversely affect the habitats of these species will be subject to regulation. Annex III of the protocol lists 'harvestable' species of flora and fauna, exploitation of which will be regulated according to management plans. With respect to the selected cacti and other succulent taxa, these Annexes are far from complete and up to date (Table 2.4). Conservation of species on both Annexes will require not only protection but also measures to enable the recovery of wild populations.

In addition to the regionally protected species listed in these Annexes, parties are required to "identify endangered or threatened species of flora or fauna within areas over which it exercises sovereignty, or sovereign rights or jurisdiction, and accord protected status to such species".

The SPAW Protocol also sets out a cooperative programme for protected areas in the Caribbean region. This will support the selection, establishment, planning, management, and conservation of protected areas and buffer zones, where necessary, and the creation of a protected areas network.

Controlling the trade

Sara Oldfield*

Cacti and other succulent plants are of major horticultural importance forming the basis for a multi-million dollar international industry. They are sold both as general houseplants and as botanical specimen plants for specialist collectors. Collection of plants from the wild for international trade has been one of the main threats to certain species, and despite the development of sophisticated propagation techniques this threat remains a significant problem.

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