Carbon sequestration is the term describing processes that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. To help mitigate global warming, a variety of ways to capture and store carbon artificially (while releasing oxygen) as well as ways to enhance natural sequestration processes are being explored.

Read more: Carbon storage and/or sequestration

Estimates indicate that the region produces nearly half of the sum of the discharge of the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers, the first and third largest rivers in the world in terms of discharge. The Amazon as a whole is the largest source of fresh water in the world and the Guiana Shield is a major subsection of the total discharge, accounting for as much as 10-15% of the world’s fresh water.

Read more: Hydrological regulation

Contrary to the Kyoto Protocol of the Climate Change Convention, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has not yet generated a system of international payments for the conservation of biodiversity. There are various reasons for this. Firstly, there are little available structural multilateral payment schemes or funds for biodiversity conservation, although funding might be found in climate related funds as preservation of biodiversity on ecosystem level is essential for the adaptation of ecosystems to climate change.

Read more: Biodiversity conservation

What are NTFPs?
The term NTFP was first used in 1989, for “all biological materials other than timber, which are extracted from forests for human services.” However, over the years, NTFPs are more and more seen as “sustainably extracted biological materials”, and a discussion has arisen as to whether a new term should include certain sustainably harvested timber-based products as well, like bamboo- and rattan-based products and woodcarving.

Read more: Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs)

Timber production can be seen as a threat to the ecosystems of the Guiana Shield, but also as a possible sustainable commercial activity. Currently, timber harvesting is not considered economically viable, partially because the Guiana Shield forests have low productivity and the actual harvestable commercial timbers are often scarce, while production costs are high. However, the timber value of the forests of the Guiana Shield is increasing as the resources are depleted in other parts of the world.

Read more: Sustainable Timber Harvesting

Sustainable tourism is another way of paying for ecosystem services, which encourages the conservation of natural as well as cultural resources. Business, including many forms of tourism, can be destructive to the environment, but since ecotourism and community-based tourism are based on the destination’s resources and therefore it’s interesting from a business point of view to maintain those resources in order to generate income over the long term.

Read more: Sustainable tourism