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History-JPAT/FCF

JPAT / FCF History

The Jamaica Protected Areas Trust Limited (JPAT) is a public-private initiative that seeks to protect and enhance Jamaica’s natural resources and biodiversity.  Registered in 2004, JPAT supports the effective management of the country’s protected areas by:

  • Facilitating engagement, dialogue, and partnerships among non-government organizations, the Government of Jamaica, private sector entities, and other stakeholders;
  • Monitoring the administration and distribution of conservation funds;
  • Assisting in the implementation of Jamaica’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan;
  • Facilitating technical, managerial and other support to enhance resource management and fulfill obligations under international treaties, and
  • Helping to produce, market, and distribute information about protected areas.

JPAT was established out of discussions between the Governments of the United States and Jamaica, the Nature Conservancy, and NGOs about the inadequate support for protected areas.  As a result, JPAT was established and a Debt Swap was negotiated between the Governments of the United States and Jamaica, facilitated by The Nature Conservancy.  JPAT is the administrator of the Forest Conservation Fund that was put in place through this Debt Swap Agreement.

What is the Forest Conservation Fund?

The Forest Conservation Fund was established pursuant to the Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA) of 1998 which was enacted to offer eligible developing countries to relieve identified official debt owed to the United States of America while at the same time generating funds to support local tropical forest conservation activities.

The Forest Conservation, Debt Swap, and Swap Fee Contractual Agreements were signed on September 21, 2004, by the Governments of Jamaica and the United States of America, the Nature Conservancy, and the Jamaica Protected Areas Trust. This paved the way for the creation of the Forest Conservation Fund (FCF). The GOJ will deposit US$16 million into the FCF over a period of nineteen years. These monies are to be used solely for the purposes delineated in the Forest Conservation Agreement (FCA).

What is the Oversight Committee?

All decisions relating to the use of FCF income, as well as the general management of the FCF Secretariat, reside solely with this Committee which was established by the Forest Conservation Agreement (FCA). The Oversight Committee (OC) of the FCF has seven voting members – three Permanent members and four Temporary members. The latter grouping serves for a fixed term and is drawn from varied sectors of the society. The current members of the OC are as follows:

 

Permanent Members:

  • The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) – Forestry Department
  • United States Government (USG)
  • The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

Term Members:

  • Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA)
  • Jamaica Protected Areas Network (JPAN)
  • Jamaica Institute of Environmental Professionals/Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (JIEP/PSOJ)
  • Ministry of Health and the Environment (MOH&E)

This governance structure was modified when the EFJ and JPAT/FCF merged operations. See here for more detail on the merged entity.

What are the benefits of the FCF to Jamaica?

  • Forest Conservation – resources that once went to the USG for debt payments remain in the domestic economy and are re-directed to local organizations that undertake forest conservation activities
  • Redirection of debt payments- US dollar repayment to the USG may be redirected in local currency towards tropical forest conservation
  • Leverage opportunities – participation of third parties under the debt-swap option increases the number of funds available to treat debt
  • Strengthening of civil society – Grants to communities and non-government groups build the grassroots capacity to complement government-sponsored activities.

What activities are eligible for funding?

Grant Income must be used within the Priority Sites to –

  • Establish, restore, protect and maintain reserves, parks, and protected areas;
  • Develop and implement natural resource management;
  • Implement training programmes to build the capacity of entities involved in conservation efforts;
  • Sustainably use, restore and protect diverse animal and plant species;
  • Research medicinal uses of tropical forest life to treat human health-related concerns; and; Develop and support alternate livelihoods of buffer zone communities.

What are the elibigle entities?

The Entities that are eligible for funding include –

  • Environmental, forestry or conservation NGO’s;
  • Local or regional entities active in Jamaica;
  • Individuals through an NGO, CBO or other similar groups
  • In exceptional instances the GOJ.

What are non-eligible entities?

  • The Fund Administrator;
  • Persons employed to a member of the Oversight Committee (OC) or an Advisory Committee; and;
  • Any other Person designated by the OC as Non-Eligible.

What are the types of grants?

The FCA makes provision for two types of grants, which can be made to recipients from the Fund. These are directly related to the duration of the programme and can be loosely defined in the following manner.

Short-Term Grants — Grants that govern programmes for periods of three years or less; and

Long-Term Grants — Grants for programmes over three years in duration.

What are the Priority Sites?

Eleven Priority Sites have been chosen. They are listed and shown on a map here.

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