Lucinda K. Taft1, Chris Wold2, Thomas T. Ankersen3, Lizbeth Espinoza4, Mario Boza1 and 5, Anne Meylan6, and Peter Meylan7
1 Caribbean Conservation Corporation, Gainesville, Florida, USA
2 Center for International Environmental Law, Northwestern School of Law of Lewis Clark Law College
3 Center for Governmental Responsibility, University of Florida College of Law
4 Centro de Derecho Ambiental y Recursos Naturales, San Jose, Costa Rica
5 Wildlife Conservation Society
6 State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection, St. Petersburg, FL, U.S.A.
7 Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL, U.S.A.
A draft “Agreement for the Conservation of Sea Turtles on the Caribbean Coast of Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua” has been prepared to provide a framework for a coordinated and systematic multinational approach to the conserCaribvation of sea turtles. It is based on the premise that these nations share the responsibility for certain sea turtle populations that cannot be managed independently. Trilateral negotiations for the adoption of this unique agreement commenced in December 1997 in San José , Costa Rica. The Agreement calls for the Parties to establish a regional system of protected habitats based upon the biological requirements of sea turtles specific to these three countries, including nesting beaches and marine habitats. Parties together decide on a regional basis which marine and terrestrial habitats to protect. Implementation and enforcement duties are assigned to a Sea Turtle Conservation Advisory Committee, a nine-member committee of governmental officials, non-governmental organizations, representatives of the private sector, local people, and scientists. The Agreement prohibits many activities until the Parties demonstrate that they are sustainable or do not harm sea turtles. In order to maintain its focus on regional habitat protection and management, the agreement defers to the Inter-American Convention and CITES with respect to issues concerning turtle excluder devices (TEDs) and international trade. Additionally, the Agreement is expected to serve as a sub-regional mechanism for implementation of the recently concluded Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles.
Abstract of paper presented at 18th International Symposium, 1998