Sustainable financing for protected areas: a comparison of parastatal and state-funded conservation agencies in Africa and the Caribbean
An alternative to the dependence on governments for conservation funding is offered by parastatal protected area agencies. A parastatal protected area agency is a semi-autonomous organization that receives a yearly grant from government, but also has the right to raise and retain its own revenues. Parastatals often take advantage of their greater financial independence by diversifying their sources of revenue beyond the collection of park fees and the provision of visitor services. Other sources of funds tapped by parastatals include investment and trust fund Income, subscriptions and donations, and foreign assistance. Parastatal agencies typically pay no dividends or taxes, so surplus revenues from operations can be reallocated to conservation activities within the protected areas. Governmental control over parastatals is exercised through protected area legislation and by representation on a board of directors, which often Includes a broad range of stakeholders.