The Caribbean Protected Area Management Network and Forum (CaMPAM) was formed in 1997 when the United Nations Environment’s Caribbean Program (UNEP-CEP) convened a meeting of 50 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) managers.

This paper describes the activities implemented by CaMPAM between 1997-2017 and the latest assessment of the program.

As stated in the article, CaMPAN’s original focus was to provide training, information sharing, and communications among Caribbean MPAs. Shortly after the initial formation, grants for learning exchanges and for implementing small projects were awarded.

The authors mention that these tools, together with partnerships with other organizations, allowed CaMPAN’s capacity building program to address the changing needs of Caribbean MPAs. It is explained that those needs were identified through site visits, consultations with scientists and managers, surveys, evaluations of courses and the entire program, CaMPAM project repots, specific requests of donors, the intergovernmental meetings of UNEP-CEP’s Cartagena Convention’s Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) Protocol and have shaped the program.

In 2016 the UNEP-CEP commissioned the review of the CaMPAM program in order to make it more relevant and useful. This paper compiles as well the results of this external audit. Overall, the assessment highlighted the many strengths of the CaMPAM network and its capacity building program, while also identifying some opportunities for improvement.

The authors conclude that CaMPAM and its capacity building program have undergone a notable development since its inception in 1997 and over its first 2 decades in existence. Highlighting that this progress was made possible by the resources by the UNEP-CEP and vial collaboration of governmental and conservation institutions that identified CaMPAM as a sound platform in which to invest resources to increase MPA management capacity.

Bustamante G, Vanzella A, Glazer R. Collado-Vides L (2018) The evolution of the Caribbean Marine Protected Area Management Network and Forum (CaMPAM): 25 years of the regional multidimensional program for strengthening MPA practitioners. Gulf and Caribbean Research 20:1-9