Guyana is home to unique and globally important ecosystems, including everything from pristine rainforests, to tropical savannahs, ancient tower-like mountain ranges, and large stretches of coastal mangroves. Not surprisingly, Guyana’s protected areas are full of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. These areas cover about 8.4% of the country’s landmass, providing important refuges for biodiversity and livelihoods for indigenous communities.
Guyana’s protected areas system is now poised to double in size, with the recent pledge by the country’s government to protect an additional two million hectares. The Protected Areas Trust has a vital role to play in conserving these globally important ecosystems and will continue to support the growth and long-term sustainability of Guyana’s protected areas.
Who We Are
The Protected Areas Trust (PAT) was established as a corporate body under the Protected Areas Act 2011, and the Trust Fund was set-up to provide co-financing for the management of the National Protected Areas System (NPAS) in Guyana, principally through the Protected Areas Commission (PAC). PAT provides co-financing for the management of Kaieteur National Park, Kanuku Mountains Protected Area and the coastal Shell Beach Protected Area . It also supports the new and innovative Kanashen Amerindian Protected Area, a community-owned protected area covering 3% of the country.
The Trust Fund functions as an endowment fund to preserve the capital while investing globally to earn annual returns of approximately 5%. Revenues generated are used to support projects that contribute to, or promote, the conservation and preservation of the biological diversity and maintenance of the ecosystem services of the protected areas. In particular, PAT funds are used to co-finance the implementation of protected areas management plans, strengthen monitoring and enforcement in protected areas, support sustainable community enterprises, biodiversity conservation, and environmental education and awareness. Approximately USD 8.5 million has been raised, with the ultimate goal being USD 65 million to be raised.
Co-financing a world class National Protected Areas System in Guyana that protects nature and improves lives
To mobilize and allocate finances for the management of the National Protected Areas System in Guyana
Visibility and openness in all transactions, thus to ensure that all information on procurement procedures, opportunities and processes are clearly defined and made widely known and available.
Obligation to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property.
Ability to change quickly and efficiently to adapt to the changing conditions.
Ability to consistently perform its intended or required functions (in the case of the PATF to provide funding for the NPAS), on demand and without degradation or failure (in the long-term).
Environmental and social responsibility
Investments do not cause negative or unwanted environmental and/or social impacts.
Ability to make judgments free from discrimination or dishonesty.
The Trust raises and invests funds to support Guyana’s Protected Areas.
It is governed by a Board of Trustees with a non-governmental majority and was established under the Protected Areas Act 2011.
The Trust co-finances the work of the Protected Areas Commission, and the management of the National Protected Areas System (NPAS).
These funds are used to protect over 1.4 million hectares of globally important habitats, filled with rare and endangered species.
The Trust supports Guyana’s commitment to establish an additional 2 million hectares of protected areas under the NPAS.
Board of Trustees
The Protected Areas Trust is a body corporate governed by a Board of Trustees with a non-governmental majority. The functions of the board include:
- Management the Trust
- Oversight the management and investment of the Trust Fund
- Review of requests for funding for the national protected areas system
- Establishment of advisory committees and other formal or informal arrangements as appropriate to help the Trust carry out its functions
- Recommendations on matters within the scope of the PA Act 2011 and provide guidance and support to the Executive Director of the Trust on programmes and operations as appropriate
- Development, periodical review, and update of the strategic plan for the Trust
The Board of Trustees could be comprised of a maximum of nine members. Membership includes individuals nominated by the private sector, government, the National Toshaos Council, the University of Guyana and major donors to the fund. Trustees are vested with the specific duty to invest and prudently manage the fund and to preserve the capital as far as reasonably possible.
Dr. Patrick Chesney
Mr. Maurice Munro
Mrs. Liz Wyatt
Mr. Sydney Armstrong
Mr. Damian Fernandes
Mr. Russian Dorrick
To ensure the highest possible performance and sound decision making, staff and Board are advised by four committees: Governance, Finance, Fundraising and Grant Review.
The Finance Committee has been established by the Board of Trustees. Members of include a Trustee of the Board of Trustees as the Chairperson and external experts with knowledge and expertise in finance.
The Finance Committee responsibilities include reviewing and recommending to the Board:
- policies and guidelines governing investments;
- long-range financial plan;
- annual budget;
- fund administrators;
- reports from independent investment advisers and managers and recommending changes in the portfolio;
- performance of a fund administrator
- annual investment performance.
Mr. Maurice Munro
The Governance Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Protected Areas Trust shall provide assistance to the Board in fulfilling its legal, ethical, and functional responsibilities through adequate governance policy development, and monitoring of board activities by developing and recommending to the Board a set of corporate governance principles, policies, standards, and practices that optimally support the PAT’s strategic priorities in accordance with the PAT’s guiding values always.
Dr. Patrick Chesney
The primary purpose of the Fundraising Committee is to oversee the development and implementation of an integrated, realistic and achievable fundraising strategy.
The Committee shall assist the BoT in the planning, coordination and implementation of all fundraising activities in support for development programmes, projects and activities of the PAT/PAC to act as key link to support the mission, vision and strategic outcomes of the organisation.
Mr. Damian Fernandes
Grant Review Committee
The main responsibility of the Committee shall be to assess and evaluate grant applications received and advise the BoT on grant management in support of the mission, values, and strategic outcomes of the PAC. The PAT Secretariat will arrange for the screening of the applications to ensure their eligibility based on agreed criteria and forward the eligible applications to the Grant Review Committee for evaluation and selection.
Mr. Sydney Armstrong
The Protected Areas Trust Secretariat is based at Jenman House in the Botanical Gardens, Georgetown. It headed by the Executive Director (ED) who is supported by an Administrative Assistant and Accounts Assistant.
The Executive Director is an ex officio non-voting member of the Board of Trustees who serves as Secretary to the Board. The Executive Director performs all duties associated with the Office of the Secretary and all such duties as assigned to the position of Executive Director by the Board of Trustees.