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.

However, the adaptation part of the climate debate is underdeveloped, due to the domination of this debate by energy and fossil fuel issues. Secondly, it is relatively easy to qualify, monetise and trade carbon and carbon dioxide - the current "currency" of climate change - while biodiversity, by its nature, cannot. And finally, while the loss and extinction of species is deplored by many, this loss is not yet seen as elementary for the survival of mankind.

However, there are many financial mechanisms in the world to reward people who maintain biodiversity for their efforts. In the Guiana Shield region there is the Suriname Conservation Trust Fund and the Colombian Fund for the Biodiversity in Protected Areas (FONBAP). The Global Environment Facility also promotes trust funds to secure long-term financing of protected areas and its Operational Policy 12 is intended for the Integrated Management of Ecosystems.

The climate issue may provide the best way forward, since “avoided deforestation” is now hig{jcomments off}h on the climate agenda and a political agreement to compensate tropical rainforest countries for their standing forests is expected soon. Of course this would also apply to the Guiana Shield countries with their high forest-based biodiversity.

GSI-II will pursue all mechanisms that adequately pay countries and communities for preserving biodiversity in the Guiana Shield eco-region.