…funding to be administered by Environment DepartmentGuyana has agreed to take on the responsibility of both housing the Guiana Shield Facility and administering its funds; monies that were formerly administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)but which has now been handed over to local officials.This was disclosed by Minister of State Joseph Harmon, during a post cabinet press briefing on Friday. While Harmon could not inform the media how much money is currently being held in the fund, he related that the Ministry of the Presidency’s Department of the Environment will be its new Managers.“Guyana has agreed to be the host for the Guyana Shield Facility and fund… this initiative started in 2000 under the UNDP and until December 31st, 2017 (theyGuyana is one of several countries who have pledged parts of their forests for conservationwere) the major entity that deal with it. Guyana in actually accepting this position is now positioning itself as the major global player in this regard.”“The fund basically will be at the department of the environment,” he further explained. “It’s basically a small team that manages the fund. And these are funds that are garnered from international agencies for the purpose of management and operation of the Guyana shield.”He explained that the funds were intended to go to the long-term financing of national and regional activities to conserve the ecosystems, protect bio diversity and sustain the livelihood of persons residing within the Guyana Shield.“The GSF supports the global relevance of the Guyana eco region and will facilitate the financial transfers from international communities and international organisations and those responsible for maintaining the ecological and cultural integrity of the Guyana Shield,” the Minister declared.Currently, the Guiana Shield comprises six nations which have dedicated their forests to conservation, including Guyana.The main purpose of the Amazon Fund is to provide support for projects to stop, observe and combat deforestation, as well as for the conservation and sustainable use of forests in the Amazon.In 2016, Guyana was charged with the responsibility to press Brazil for the Amazon Fund to be expended for Guiana Shield biodiversity scientific research.At the Fourth International Congress on Biodiversity of Guiana Shield, UNDP Resident Representative Khadija Musa had stated that the Fund was overloaded with resources that could be utilised for research.“There is no doubt that the Guiana Shield is worth protecting,” she had said, adding that it was critical for the respective governments to tap into the resources that the Fund possesses.At the opening ceremony of the congress, President Granger had suggested that since the world was under threat from human activities that decimate the environment and cause global warming, the Shield’s existence was important. He stated that it was the organization’s duty to protect and preserve the ecosystem.