Wildlife Conservation and Management Bill 2016 passes in the National Assembly



Georgetown, Guyana- (August 10, 2016) -The National Assembly of Guyana passed the Wildlife Conservation and Management Bill 2016 in the early hours of August 9, 2016, not only paving the way for the better management of the country’s flora and fauna but also bringing the country into compliance with its international o


The Bill, which was tabled in the National Assembly on May 12, 2016, by Hon. Raphael G.C. Trotman, M.P., Minister of Natural Resources, was passed with a number of amendments including, one proposed by Opposition MP, Dharamkumar Seeraj, after being taken through all its stages.

Speaking on the Bill, Minister of Natural Resources said that the Bill has its origins in the International Convention on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and can be traced back several years.

“This is its third attempt at being passed…its third incarnation. There have been some changes made to it and I wish to recognise that this is not a new Bill but one which has passed this way before though it has never made it this far where it is likely to be passed into law,” said the Minister.

Noting that Guyana is a member of CITES, he said that such membership devolves on the country certain responsibilities including having appropriate laws and regulations to safeguard that flora and fauna and to curb the illegal trade of wildlife and to have the safe and regulated movement of wildlife both within and without of state parties.

He said that for the most part though being a party to the Convention Guyana has not been fully compliant even though every effort has been made to do so.

“One such requirement is for there to be adequate legal provisions that not only incorporate the requirements of the Convention but also provide adequate safeguards to the flora and fauna in our biodiversity,” said the Minister.

“We have, Mr Speaker, been using for a number of years regulations published under the Environmental Protection Act and these have since been deemed inadequate hence the presence of this Bill. We therefore cannot go on without the adequate legal framework and laws being in place without facing sanctions for non-implementation. This Bill among other things is an attempt to remedy that jeopardy which has arisen,” said Honourable Trotman to the House.

He noted that the CITES conferences which are held triennially – the next being in September of this year in South Africa – saying, “if we miss this upcoming conference our next attempt to have this legislation presented to the conference will be in 2019 by which time Guyana risks being sanctioned for non-compliance.”

The Minister noted that during the tenure of the 10th Parliament commencing in 2011, two attempts were made to pass legislation to satisfy CITES’ requirements – the first being the Wildlife Import and Export Bill No. 20 of 2013 and the second attempt is the Wildlife Import and Export Bill 2014.

“Unfortunately for diverse reasons culminating in the calamitous events of the 10th Parliament neither Bill was enacted into law. So Mr Speaker, time is of the essence and we must seize the opportunity that presents itself,” said the Minister.

He said that at the last CITES conference in Bangkok, Thailand, Guyana was recognised as a Category 2 country, meaning that it has legislation believed general not to meet all of the requirements for the implementation of the Convention. He said that Guyana was strongly cautioned that it would be shortlisted for possible sanctions if it did not have legislation in place by 2016.

“So Mr Speaker I am pleased to announce that just a few weeks ago, CITES did in fact send a note to Guyana saying that they were in fact – having gone through this Bill – satisfied that the Bill before us meets their requirements…The Bill has 85 clauses and is divided into 15 parts and makes provision for the work of CITES,” said Minister Trotman.

In concluding his remarks, Honourable Trotman said that every opportunity was given to the Opposition to air their views on the Bill and said that the legislation can be kept under constant review with a view to making any necessary changes in the future.

Proposed Arrangement under the new Bill

All wildlife management and trade regulation responsibilities will be vested in one institution- the Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission.

The institution’s mandate will be to conserve and manage Guyana’s wild fauna and flora resources through the implementation of the relevant laws and regulations.

The objectives of the institution shall be:

  1. To promote the sustainable utilization of Guyana’s wild fauna and flora.
  2. To develop linkages with other agencies and organizations that engage in activities that impact wild fauna and flora.
  3. To promote and monitor compliance with biodiversity-related Conventions that Guyana may be Party to particularly CITES and CBD.
  4. To develop management plans for species and/or classified areas.
  5. To promote public awareness on biodiversity and wildlife conservation.

The functions of the institution shall include:

  1. Enforcement of all wildlife laws.
  2. Regulation of international and domestic wildlife trade.
  3. Conducting research.
  4. Development and execution of management and conservation plans.
  5. Protection of endangered species.
  6. Assisting with the development of wildlife-based initiatives.
  7. Assisting local communities to develop and manage their wildlife resources.
  8. Managing a rescue centre.


The review of the various regulations and laws concerning the trade in wildlife has had a long history dating back to 2008. There were a number of meetings and consultations held with a wide range of stakeholders locally and internationally including the Guyana Fauna Exporters’ Association and CITES. As a result of the meetings, the final product, in the form of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Bill 2016 was tabled in the National Assembly on May 5, 2016.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *