Established in 2017 the Guyana Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission (GWCMC) is one of Guyana’s newest environment agencies. Securing the future of Guyana’s wildlife through effective, sustainable management, and conservation is the ultimate purpose of our Commission. Wildlife management has undergone significant changes over the years, commencing with the creation of the Wildlife Division to regulate wildlife export in the 1980s.
The Division was moved from under the Ministry of Agriculture to the Office of the President in the 1990s following a recommendation to suspend wildlife trade for Guyana by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). In 2009, the accounting functions of the Wildlife Division were assumed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the operational arm was overseen by the Wildlife Management Authority Board.
The Division moved under the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment in 2011 and in 2016, under the Department of the Environment in the Ministry of the Presidency. In 2016, the Wildlife Conservation and Management Bill was tabled in Parliament and passed on August 9. It was assented to by His Excellency, President David Granger on October 5, 2016 and brought into effect on June 1, 2017 by order of Minister of State, Honourable Joseph Harmon.
With the commencement of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, the Wildlife Division began transitioning to the GWCMC. The Act provides for the protection, conservation, management, sustainable use, internal and external trade of Guyana’s wildlife. Section 4 establishes the Guyana Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission while the functions of the Commission are outlined in Section 6.
The Act also establishes the Wildlife Scientific Committee which is responsible for advising the GWCMC on a range of matters including trade, setting of quotas and captive breeding. As a requirement of CITES, the GWCMC is designated as the CITES Management Authority for Guyana overseeing all international wildlife trade and the WSC is the CITES Scientific Authority of Guyana.