NCTF Spotlight: National Conservation Trust Fund of Jamaica


The National Conservation Trust Fund of Jamaica (NCTFJ) was established in 2014 as a private non-profit organization under the Companies Act of Jamaica. The creation of the Fund was a result of the GEF/UNDP funded project implemented between 2010 to 2016 to support the consolidation of the National Protected Areas System (NPAS).

The Protected Areas in Jamaica are under the mandate of four different governmental agencies – Forestry Department, Fisheries Division, NEPA (National Environment and Planning Agency) and JNHT (Jamaica National Heritage Trust). In addition, each of these four PA agencies have different types of agreements with civil society organizations to co-manage the areas. The NCTFJ was established to support the consolidation of the PA system by working with all these and other stakeholders, providing funding to strengthen coordination among the actors and management effectiveness of the areas.

The Fund’s Board of Directors, composed of representatives from government, private sector, academia and non-governmental organizations, received the support from the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF), The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and other partners to become a fully operational trust fund, with policies and procedures in place and an initial staff. Key documents, including a strategic plan were developed with the support of the Caribbean Marine Biodiversity Project (CMBP), funded by USAID and managed by TNC. The strategic plan will be used to guide the Fund’s actions in the period from 2019 to 2022.

Fulfilling all the CBF required conditions, in April 2019, the NCTFJ has submitted its eligibility request to formally become a CBF partner and is expected to sign a Partnership Agreement with CBF soon. With the signature of the Agreement, the NCTFJ will start receiving annual transfers from the CBF Endowment, being able to gradually build its programme portfolio.

On June 5th 2019, on World Environment Day, the NCTFJ will be officially launched in an event in Kingston that will mark the beginning of its operations.

Asha-Gaye Cowell
Program Officer, Conservation Finance
Asha-Gaye Cowell is the Conservation Finance Program Officer. She has a diverse academic background, which includes a BSc. Economics and Statistics with first class honors, MSc. International Public and Development Management and a Visiting Fellowship Certification from the University of Oxford where she studied Behavioral Economics along with Strategy and Ethics. Complementing her academic prowess is a cross-section of professional experiences, including work with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), UNECLAC, USAID, the Permanent Missions of Jamaica to the UN, among others. With extensive civic involvement, volunteerism, and strategic partnerships, Asha is very passionate about leadership, international and regional development, economics, youth and climate change.

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