The purpose of the fund is to ensure sustainable financing into perpetuity for the management of The Bahamas National Protected Area System (BNPAS).
The Bahamas Protected Area Fund (BPAF) was established in 2014 by an Act of Parliament. The purpose of the fund is to ensure sustainable financing into perpetuity for the management of The Bahamas National Protected Area System (BNPAS). Protected areas include those established by the Government of The Bahamas as well as areas established for various reasons inclusive of biodiversity conservation, protection of carbon sinks, water resources, wetlands and blue holes, degraded or threatened ecosystems as well as those areas established to aid in mitigating for and adapting to climate change under relevant multilateral environmental agreements or international conventions.
In 2008 the Government of the Bahamas outlined its commitment to preserve the Bahamian marine and terrestrial environments by meeting the targets established by the Convention on Biological Diversity Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA) for 2010 and 2012, and to effectively conserve at least 20% of the near-shore marine resources across The Bahamas by 2020. The Government also committed to a minimum of 50% of existing marine and 50% of existing terrestrial national parks and protected areas being effectively managed by 2020. In 2012 a Master Plan for BNPAS was finalized that identified the future assessments necessary to strengthen the national system including those related to equity and benefits sharing and governance. It built on the components of the master planning process completed over a 5-year period which included the 2008 Ecological Gap Analysis, Management Effectiveness Assessment, Capacity Action Plan and Sustainable Finance Plan. The BPAF is an output of the latter.
The Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) also started in 2008 through the cooperation of a group of Caribbean governments, The Nature Conservancy and the German bank, KfW. In 2013, Caribbean governments involved in the Initiative, including the Bahamas, committed to protect and conserve 20% of the marine and coastal resources by 2020. The Initiative has led to the establishment of a Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) – capitalized with funds from the German Government, Global Environmental Facility and The Nature Conservancy. The CBF aids in sustainable financing of CCI goals in member countries, pursuant to certain eligibility requirements, one of which is the establishment of a conservation trust such as the BPAF and a new financing mechanism to generate annual funding flows for the management of protected areas.
It is intended that funds generated from the BPAF and support from the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund will provide funding for protected area managers to help with the closure of the financial gap.
Furthermore the increasing threats brought about by climate change particularly to SIDS like the Bahamas, means significantly increasing our efforts to mitigate for and adapt to the consequence of this change.
We believe organizations such as yours, will understand and grasp the urgency of this work and therefore extend an opportunity for you to invest, along with us, not only in the preservation of this country and but also the continuance of your interests in the Bahamas.
We ask you to join this ambitious project, whose vision was aided from around the world, as we together strive to protect this land that we love and ensure hope for the future.