Guiana Shield countries enabling biodiversity corridors

The Guiana Shield countries and development partners have developed an action plan to enable biological corridors and transboundary conservation within the Guiana Shield eco-region to avoid landscape fragmentation and the loss of habitats for biodiversity.

The agreed Regional Action Plan is important as wildlife and habitats know no boundaries; that issues in one country can impact another; and that connectivity of habitats becomes ever more important given the effects of climate change, a press release said. The Guiana Shield, one of the most intact ecosystems in the world, is increasingly under pressure from development and extractive industries.

Twenty-six protected areas management professionals and international biodiversity experts shared their experience and best practices at a workshop in Kurupukari last month and developed the action plan to facilitate and streamline support for the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

“Corridors and connectivity are key to maintaining biodiversity and promoting ecosystem resi-lience.

I congratulate the Guiana Shield countries and partner organisations who are advancing a challenging agenda to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets through the further development of corridors and transboundary conservation,” Convention on Biological Diversity’s Exe-cutive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias said.

The Regional Action Plan calls on governments and partner organisations to support efforts to better manage and monitor small and medium-scale gold mining, including promoting best practices for biodiversity conservation and water resources management; encourage the further development of transboundary marine protected areas in the Guiana Shield through ongoing initiatives such as Marine Mammals Conservation network; create synergies with existing global and regional platforms, develop and strengthen linkages with collaborative connectivity projects, organise a technical database that allows identifying and prioritising transboundary corridors, and strengthen and facilitate academic research (university research cooperation and other research institutions) into connectivity science.

Participants pledged to cooperate to fulfil the actions outlined as initial steps toward developing transboundary cooperation and achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in the Guiana Shield.

Minister of Natural Resources and the En-vironment Robert Persaud reiterated that the approach taken in Guyana toward conservation is to collaborate with stakeholders and relevant organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme and the World Wildlife Fund.

He said Guyana is making headway toward achieving Aichi Biodiversity Targets 11 and 16. “Our economic well-being and prosperity and our peoples livelihood depend on a functioning, sustainable and viable extractive sector,” he said.

The Guiana Shield includes Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela.

The workshop was held from May 21-23 at the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Deve-lopment in Kurupukari.

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