The IUCN World Conservation Union is the world’s largest nature conservation organisation. Its mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.
IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands (IUCN NL) has been actively involved in the first two phases of the Guiana Shield Initiative (GSI), which preceded the GSF. The GSI project was initially conceived at the Amazonia- Europe Roundtable, organized by the European Working Group on Amazonia, held in the European Parliament in November 1993. The idea of managing the Guiana Shield eco-region as such was put forward at this meeting. The IUCN NL served as the seat of the GSI up to 2006.
The GSI Phase I proposal was submitted by the NC-IUCN (now IUCN NL) and a contract signed by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 30 November, 2000. GSI Phase I (2000-2004) focused on: identification of priorities; exploration of possible financial mechanisms; information, education, research into markets; and outlining a monitoring system. In 2007 during GSI Phase II (2006-2010), the UNDP contracted IUCN NL to act as the Guiana Shield Secretariat, to assist setting up the Pilot Projects and to deliver technical and advisory services to the management of the Project. As an integral part of the GSI Project Management Unit, the IUCN NL also provided input on planning and managing the project. The IUCN NL also contributed as a donor in the GSI Phase II project. Through its Small Grants Programme, projects of local organizations within the Guiana Shield Eco-Region that link ecosystem conservation and poverty issues were sponsored. Phase II focused on piloting payment for ecosystem services and developing the administrative, financial and policy framework for the conservation and sustainable development of the Guiana Shield ecoregion.
For the ongoing GSF project (2010-2014), the IUCN NL IUCN NL remains the (founder and) owner of the GSI website, its address and domain name www.guianashield.org, whereby IUCN NL is recognized by UNDP Guyana and the GSF to be the founder and owner of the GSI. IUCN NL has provided the GSF ownership over a dedicated part of the GSI website, specifically reserved for the GSF, sharing the domain name of www.guianashield.org with the GSI website.
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