PRESS RELEASE : Guiana Shield Foundation for Biodiversity (GSFBIO) - 16 May 2013

The Executive Board of the International Society of Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield (IBG) met at the Anton de Kom University of Suriname (AdeKUS) in Paramaribo from 13-15 May 2013. The main issue on the agenda was to organize the 3rd International Congress of Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield that will be held from 5-8 August, 2013 in Paramaribo. There are six countries that share the Guiana Shield i.e. Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana and Brazil.

The Congress will provide an important forum for experts and community leaders of the region to share their experience and results of research on biodiversity. Thus regional integration is promoted through sound science and community exchange. During the Congress there will be a number of special events including the presentation of Academic papers and posters, a workshop on Green Development, and a symposium for traditional communities. Furthermore there will be a training session on Economic valuation of biodiversity and a meeting on Gender and Biodiversity. In addition universities and research organizations of the region will have a special meeting to promote cooperation. There is also a meeting to review the state of affairs in research and propose an agenda for future research on biodiversity of the Guiana Shield.

Click to read Statements made by Representatives of VenezuelaColombia and Guyana

A special event will be the General Assembly of the International Society of Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield (IBG). This Society was established in 2010 and has the ambition to join all experts and practitioners who are working in the field of biodiversity of the region. To achieve its goals the Central Committee of the IBG decided to create a Foundation of the Guiana Shield Foundation for Biodiversity (GSFBIO). Members of the IBG Central Committee were incorporated into the GSFBIO’s Board. The purpose of the IBG is to foster and develop education and research in all disciplines contributing to the knowledge and stewardship of the biodiversity of the Guiana Shield and the conservation, preservation, and sustainable management of its natural, rural and urban ecosystems. The purpose of the Foundation is to execute all decisions of the IBG and to function as its administrative agency.


The members of the IBG Central Committee who are also Board members of the GSFBIO are as follows:
Chair: Prof. Dr. Marten Schalkwijk, Institute for Graduate Studies & Research, AdeKUS
Vice-Chair: Gwendolyn Landburg, M.Sc., National Zoological Collection of Suriname/Center for Environmental Research, AdeKUS
Board Member Brazil: Prof. Dr. Ligia Simonian, Nucleo de Altos Estudos Amazonicos, Universidade Federal do Para, Belem
Board Member Colombia: Mercedes Mejia, MSc., Universidad da Amazonia, Florencia
Board Member French Guiana: Dr. Claude Suzanon, Sepunguy National Park
Board Member Guyana: Dr. Raquel Thomas, Iwokrama International Centre
Board Member Suriname: Jamille Haarloo, M.Sc., Centre for Agricultural Research in Suriname, CELOS, AdeKUS
Board Member Venezuela: Prof. Dr. Judith Rosales, Universidad Nacional Experimental de Guayana

Dr. Patrick Chesney, Guiana Shield Facility, and Ir. Imro Fong Poen, former Director CELOS, participated in this historic meeting.

More information on the Congress is available on the website:



Statements made after the signing.


I believe it is a historic development that will guide programmes for the sustainable development of the Guiana Shield ecoregion based on sound scientific, technological, socio-economic and cultural knowledge. The empowerment of local people through capacity building and strengthening of research infrastructure is a key expected result of this development. Then, people will be able to conduct and actively and consciously participate in biodiversity conservation programmes locally and transboundary.

Prof. Dr. Judith Rosales
Universidad Nacional Experimental de Guayana


Para Colombia y la universidad de la Amazonia participar en la formalización de la FUNDACION INTERNACIONAL DE BIODIVERSIDAD DEL ESCUDO GUAYANES (GSFBIO) en el Institute For Graduate Studies & Research, Anton de Kom University of Suriname (AdekUS) en Paramaribo Surinam es estratégico en la integración de sinergias colaborativas con el propósito de trabajar por la biodiversidad del ESCUDO GUAYANES.
Con esta iniciativa se impactara positivamente con una presencia desde procesos investigativos, de proyección social y académicos, que se reflejaran en el fortalecimiento de las instituciones, la comunidad y organizaciones en pro del desarrollo de la región. Estudiando la biodiversidad bajo cánones de conservación y reducción de los impactos con la Integración de visiones al territorio.

Mercedes Mejía Leudo
Ingeniero Agronomo. M.Sc.
Profesora Universidad de la Amazonia
Florencia - Caquetá - Colombia


This is a very timely and necessary development for Guiana Shield partnerships. I think for too long the language barrier has been used as a factor limiting deeper collaboration between the countries of the Guiana Shield in areas of biodiversity research and education. There are many development and potential development activities that are ongoing in all the Guiana Shield countries and while they represent great opportunities for growth and progress, many also bring threats to conservation efforts. It is therefore necessary, now more than ever, that academics, communities, policy makers are provided opportunities to meet and share experiences and develop collaborative linkages on several levels, including the responsibility to invest in human capacity building, all leading to the objective of the enhanced stewardship of this very important and unique space.”

Dr. Raquel Thomas-Caesar
Director, Resource Management and Training
Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development
77 High Street, Kingston, Georgetown, Guyana, South America
Telephone (592) 225 1504 Fax (592) 225 9199
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