NCTF Spotlight: The Bahamas Protected Areas Fund (BPAF)


The Bahamas Protected Areas Fund (BPAF) was established in 2014 with its general purpose being “to ensure sustainable financing into perpetuity for the management of Protected Areas in The Bahamas”.

Since its establishment, and the appointment of its Board of Directors and Executive Director, BPAF has been working to ensure its operations are aligned with international best practices. In March 2018, they sponsored a session of the Bahamas Natural History Conference on Sustainable Financing, which included presentations by the CBF on the Caribbean Sustainable Finance Architecture, TNC, BNT, GEF-SGP and the Ministry of Environment.

The Fund has also been a NCTF leader in developing a strategic plan using participatory approaches. The Board of the Fund and other key stakeholders in finance, tourism and conservation worked together on the direction and priorities for the BPAF. This, they explain, will be their centerpiece for both awareness raising and the development of their sustainable finance mechanisms.

The BPAF has a local endowment of US$2.5 million and is working on final amendments to the BPAF Act which will pave the way for the signing of a Partnership Agreement with the CBF. The current focus of the Fund includes the finalization of its grantmaking framework, the implementation of SF revenue options and improving their national and international profile.

For further information on BPAF, including the presentations from the March conference, check out their website (www.bahamasprotected.com) or contact Karen Panton, Executive Director (kpanton@bahamasprotected.com).

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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