Guyana is globally recognized for its wealth of natural resources, high levels of biodiversity and for having one of the lowest rates of deforestation in the developing world. The Government of Guyana (GoG) has had a long history of instituting strategies for the effective management and conservation of these resources. It is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
The creation of an effective National Protected Areas System (NPAS) in Guyana is key to achieving sustainable development, defined within the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Guyana’s protected areas system will allow for the protection and maintenance of unique natural and cultural heritage, whilst at the same time facilitating sustainable social, environmental and economic development. The NPAS is therefore an important pillar of Guyana’s green growth efforts. As a signatory to the Paris Agreement under the UNFCCC, the NPAS forms an important element of the country’s Emissions Reduction Programme (ERP), in which the country has committed to conserving an additional 2M hectares of its land and waterways, bringing the terrestrial area under conservation to 18.37%. Under the UNCBD, the country conservation commitment is 17% of terrestrial resources, and 10% of its coastal and marine resources under conservation.
The Protected Areas Act, 2011, sets out the legal and institutional framework for the establishment and management of the NPAS. The Protected Areas Commission (PAC) and its Board of Directors have the primary function of establishing, managing, maintaining, promoting and expanding the NPAS. The Commissioner of Protected Areas serves as the chief executive officer of the Commission and is responsible for the day to day business of the Commission, its administration and operations.
He/ she is expected to drive the creation of an effective NPAS that is both contextual to Guyana and based on international experiences and best practices in protected areas management. The Commissioner is central to ensuring that the NPAS is sustainable and serves as an effective tool for improving the well-being of Guyana’s people.
The Commissioner of Protected Areas will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day business of the Protected Areas Commission, including its administration and operations.
III. Characteristics of the Appointment
Type of Appointment: Individual
Duration: 3 years, renewable on the basis of performance
Place of Work: Protected Areas Commission,
Department of Environment,
The Commissioner of the PAC should have:
i. A Masters Degree from a recognized university in Environmental Science, Conservation Biology, Natural Resources Management, or a related field.
ii. At least 8 years experience in conservation and protected areas management.
iii. At least 3 years experience in a managerial/supervisory capacity.
iv. Significant experience and understanding of indigenous issues, community development and consultative processes.
v. Excellent leadership, facilitation and communication skills.
vi. Well-developed analytical and computer skills.
The Commissioner of the PAC will report to the Protected Areas Commission Board of Directors and the Department of Environment, Ministry of the Presidency.
IV. Position Responsibilities
The Commissioner of the PAC will:
• Coordinate approaches to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in and around protected areas;
• Recruit and appoint staff and consultants subject to the approval of the Board;
• Ensure that the PAC budget, work plan and programmes are implemented;
• Ensure that proper financial systems and appropriate staffing policies and procedures are put in place and followed;
• Promote research and environmental education programmes in and around protected areas;
• Promote environmentally sound land-use planning in and around protected areas;
• Any other duties reasonably assigned by the PAC Board of Directors.
In pursuit of these responsibilities, the Commissioner of Protected Areas will undertake to:
• Develop appropriate strategies for knowledge sharing and effective communication, and liaise with national media;
• Work with local communities to develop, strengthen and implement sustainable livelihood activities in and around protected areas;
• Work closely with key Ministries, Sector Agencies, and regional and international agencies to develop viable and mutually beneficial partnerships and ensure the effective management of the NPAS;
• Prepare and present to the Board strategies, plans and programmes in accordance with the Protected Areas Act.
V. Compensation Package
The contract will be for a three year duration but is subject to appraisal every six months. The compensation package is negotiable but cannot exceed specific scales currently in place for Commissions.
The successful candidate for the position should be available within one month of acceptance of the offer of employment.