Areas set aside for conservation
A protected area is a clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values.
Guyana has five (5) established Protected Areas with a total area of 6900 square miles or 17,870 square kilometers:
- The Shell Beach Protected Area is located on the narrow coastal strip on Guyana’s North shore between the Pomeroon and Waini Rivers. It was identified as a site for protection and national importance because of its unique and rich biological diversity. Four of the world’s eight marine turtle species: Leatherback, Green, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles nest in the Shell Beach area.
- The Kaieteur National Park is located in Region VIII, it was established as a Protected Areas in 1929. The primary attraction is Kaieteur Falls with a sheer drop of over 700 feet, the park has outstanding scientific and recreational values. There is high species diversity with many threatened and endangered species of birds, primates and felines. The park also protects important watersheds of Upper Potaro and Kuribrong Rivers.
- The Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development is located in the center of Guyana, approximately half of the area is used as a wilderness preserve with the remainder being used for the sustainable utilization of resources. The Center promotes the areas of sustainable management of tropical forests, conservation and utilization of biodiversity, sustainable human development, forestry research and information and communication.
- The Kanuku Mountains Protected Area is located on the southwestern region of Guyana. This area was recommended for protection and conservation because approximately 60% of all bird species in Guyana could be found in the Kanukus. The Rewa River also supports a variety of large animals such as the Giant Otter, Giant River Turtle, Black Caiman and the Arapaima (the largest neotropical freshwater fish).
- The Kanashen Community Owned Conservation Area is located on the far South of Guyana. It is the first and largest community owned protected area. Kanashen is home to the Wai Wai people. The area is known for its virtually untouched forests, is part of the High Biodiversity Wilderness Area of Amazonia and a key section of the Guianas Shield corridor. The origin of the Essequibo River can also be found in the Kanashen Area.
 IUCN Definition 2008
 Environmental Protection Agency, 2010, Protected Areas of Guyana