signing the Paramaribo Declarationsigning the Paramaribo DeclarationThe first formal phase of the Guiana Shield Initiative started in December 2000, when the IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands (IUCN NL) received funding from the Directorate General of International Co-operation of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS). This first phase, which ended in March 2004, was a preliminary phase, during which information was gathered and working documents were developed, a conservation priority-setting workshop was held, and monitoring was evaluated. All these activities were aimed at building the foundations for an eco-regional approach to conservation and sustainable development of the Guiana Shield.

In January 2007, a second phase, funded by the European Commission, started and this phase will continue for three and a half years. The main target of the second phase is to select at least three pilot sites to gain experience with payment for ecosystem services.


The second phase

GSI aims to promote the sustainable development of the Guiana Shield by means of an integrated eco-regional policy, institutional and financial management framework, designed to enable the six countries and their local communities to benefit from their natural resources. Preserving ecosystem functions (e.g. climate and water regulation, biodiversity preservation) will benefit stakeholders at local, national and global levels and will help to fulfil national obligations under the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). By preserving nature and therefore natural livelihood resources, the local inhabitants will make a significant contribution towards poverty alleviation and resource management. GSI - Phase II will focus on pilot projects that aim to test compensation mechanisms for provision of environmental services, as well as culturally appropriate ecosystem management contracts, benefit sharing mechanis{jcomments off}ms and monitoring schemes.