|The Jamaica Protected Areas Trust (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.
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.
What is a protected area?
A Protected Area as defined by The World Conservation Union (IUCN) is “An area of land and/or sea especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through legal or other effective means”.
Protected areas in Jamaica include parks, national parks, forest reserves, and forest management areas and fish sanctuaries. Examples of some of Jamaica’s protected areas are the Negril and Montego Bay Marine Parks, Palisadoes/Port Royal Protected Area, Mason River Protected Area, Portland Bight Protected Area, and the Blue and John Crow Mountain National Park.