Guiana Shield Facility

 A Map of the Guiana Shield Eco-region. (Photo Credit: GSF)

The Guiana Shield is an eco-region of regional and global significance. It covers an area of 270 million ha, which is made up of varied and various ecosystems that house keystone species of biodiversity, store globally significant amounts of carbon and water, and provide livelihoods for many human cultures. All or parts of six countries namely in alphabetical order, Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela, share the unique geographic area of the Guiana Shield.

Over the last two decades, the Guiana Shield Initiative (GSI) has emerged as the primary promoter of sustainable development of the Guiana Shield eco-region in the context of the multi-lateral environment agreement legal framework. In the just concluded GSI project, the focus was on piloting innovative monitoring approaches, specific legal instruments, and benefit sharing, in three countries for the preservation of ecosystem functions. The aim was to deliver benefits to stakeholders at the local, national and global levels and indeed help fulfil national obligations under the multilateral environmental agreements and the relevant regional arrangements. In the long-run, by preserving nature and therefore natural livelihood resources, a significant contribution will be made towards poverty alleviation and resource management by the local/indigenous inhabitants.

The current GSF project (2010-2014) aims to set up and operate a long-term funding facility for the conservation and sustainable development of the Guiana Shield eco-region. The GSF will focus on national and regional scale activities, emphasising national ownership and priorities as well as regional collaboration.


  • The III International Congress on Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield which was held from 5-8 August, 2013 was a resounding success. It contributed to the high visibility of UNDP, GSF and the donors to the GSF. The International Society of Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield (IBG) was firmly established as an important society to promote and manage the periodic congress on biodiversity and to carry out through the Guiana Shield Foundation for Biodiversity, the work programme as defined by the congress.
  • The CBD Secretariat validated the ecoregional approach of the GSF to promoting conservation and supporting sustainable development. The CBD provides a clear opportunity through its LifeWeb Initiative to pursue a GSF donor roundtable provided that the CBD operational focal points can agree on such an approach to achieving the global biodiversity targets.
  •  The GSF delivery mechanism became operational through the issue of grants to project beneficiaries. To date, the sum of US$1.4 million was disbursed to beneficiary organisations in support of REDD+ activities.
  • The GSF leadership on Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) is bearing fruit. Guyana made an important step forward on REDD+ by organising input to define the national carbon emission reference level and to identify co-benefits. Suriname continued work on REDD+ readiness. Both Amapá State (Brazil) and Matavén indigenous communities (Colombia) are expected (having benefited from GSF catalytic financing and leveraged USD 3.8 million froM the World Bank's FCP for REDD+) to pursue PES.
  • Partnerships with many local, national regional and international actors were maintained and strengthened. The GSF is gaining value as an important ecoregional platform for the conservation and sustainable development of the Guiana Shield ecoregion.
  •  A youth for the Guiana Shield initiative will be launched soon.
  • In partnership with DEAL in French Guiana, the GSF successfully organised a regional workshop on fresh water management. The WAVINGS network was launched.


Donor name Amount contributed
European Union Commission
EURO: $1,500,000
Government of Netherlands EURO: $1,875,000

Delivery in previous fiscal year

Amount contributed by year
USD 44,772
2011 USD 489,418
2012 USD 573, 123
2013 USD 1, 413, 089

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