Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

BIO-PLATEAUX: strengthen transboundary cooperation for water resources and aquatic biodiversity management in the Guiana shield

Guiana Water Office (OEG), France (
Local / Regional Government

     1. Context and objectives
    The BIO-PLATEAUX initiative aims at promoting international cooperation for the transboundary river basins of Maroni and Oyapock, where significant progress has been made over the past 4 years of collaboration between French Guiana, Suriname and the Brazilian state of Amapá.

    In a context of exceptional environmental richness and cultural diversity within both the Guiana shield and the Amazonian region, the shared basins are facing transboundary challenges:
    -Lack of access to essential services (drinking water supply, sanitation and solid waste management) in isolated areas,
    -Increasing pressures on water resources and aquatic environments (especially linked to illegal gold mining and overuse of sediments)
    -Climate change and its consequences for the territories, with higher frequency and intensity of extreme events, including floods.

    To tackle these issues, the objective of the initiative is to establish joint governance and river basin planning, with the creation of a transboundary Observatory on water resources and aquatic biodiversity.
    The collaborative work initiated in the first phase of BIO-PLATEAUX initiative (2019-2022) allowed to develop a joint knowledge and identified specific needs for future integrated water resources & aquatic biodiversity management (IWRBM) in the Maroni and Oyapock river basins. The second phase of BIO-PLATEAUX (2022-2026) is developing concrete activities to respond to these priorities.

     2. Results of Phase 1 (2019-2022)
    The first Phase of BIO-PLATEAUX focused on knowledge, as a leverage basis for the IWRM long term strategy. Knowledge has been developed in three dimensions:
    -to know each other better, at high level (BIO-PLATEAUX Conference in November 2019, labeled as an action of French National Plan of Biodiversity –Action N°62) and technical level, with creation of thematic technical working groups on priority issues
    -to know better water resources, with strengthening interoperability, development of a joint platform for data and information sharing (, consolidating the rivers monitoring networks, studies and joint campaigns,
    -to make known the challenges and expectancies of the territories in an inclusive manner with populations (participative activities, water classes) and technicians (innovative studies and capacity building).

     3. Commitments for Phase 2 (2022-2026)
    The Phase 1 closed on 30th April 2022 with the signature of a statement by the implementing partners. They formulated the common willingness to prepare the creation of a Transboundary Observatory. The Phase 2 focus on this Transboundary Observatory, with four components:
    -Institutional prefiguration (legal, organizational, and economic studies), and proposal of participative governance schemes for the Observatory and its articulation with the existing institutional framework of transboundary basin,
    -Animation of the network of actors, with International Conference, participative activities in coordination with local authorities and autochthonous communities, territorial workshops, identification of priority joint projects, awareness raising, and articulation with the Amazonian basin,
    -Knowledge and studies, with 3 main technical working groups on hydrology & risks; pollution, quality of aquatic environments & aquatic biodiversity; and essential services (drinking water supply, sanitation, solid waste management),
    -River basin planning, starting with defining a joint methodology, prepare baseline, common diagnosis on the basin and definition of joint objectives.

    Expected Impact

    This action will be a real accelerator for SDG implementation in the Guiana shield. For SDG n°6 and n°15, challenges are shared by all the territories. No long term solution would be found in the region without sustainable transboundary cooperation, which requires adapted governance, citizen participation, knowledge management and river basin planning.

    This long term process will be a concrete support to achievements of SDG on essential services (drinking water supply, sanitation, hygiene, solid waste management) in isolated areas. It will address issues at basin level for water resources & aquatic biodiversity management (reduce contaminations and improve water quality, limit use of sediment, know better to protect stronger natural habitats and biodiversity).

    One of the main difficulty identified in Phase 1 was the compartmentalization of responses (within and between countries), although territorial challenges are in facts intertwined. This has been a genuine limitation to achievements of SDGs. The transboundary Observatory will furthermore be a concrete and sustainable instrument to strengthen cooperation in the area, in order to promote an integrated vision. Thus “Interlinkage” is a core objective of this initiative, to avoid sectorial and partial approach, and promote interinstitutional articulation, thematic integration and citizen participation.

    Participation will be an important objective of the initiative, to prepare the creation of an inclusive Observatory, including autochthonous populations who are living in the transboundary basins, water and aquatic biodiversity users, in close coordination with local authorities and municipalities.

    Innovation will also be a keyword of the initiative, with promotion of both:
    -nature based solutions, considering remarkable ecosystem services provided by the Guiana shield at global level (ecosystem services of regulation ; water cycle ; amazon rainforest green carbon capture ; blue carbon sinks with mangroves and aquatic biodiversity), and at local level (risk vulnerability reduction ; natural purification of environment ; provisioning services ; cultural services).
    -new disruptive technologies (monitoring of the hydrology of rivers with satellite spatial altimetry; and monitoring of aquatic biodiversity with methods of environmental-DNA), already developed at pilot level in French Guiana, that will be promoted by the project, shared to the neighbors, and integrated to the observatory as operational tools with studies, training and outreach. They could contribute to future solutions in other regions of the world.

    In addition, the initiative is holding strong assets:
    -BIO-PLATEAUX is supported and promoted by authorities of the three beneficiary territories, with involvement of stakeholders at national and territorial levels,
    -the initiative is financed by a group of donors (see below),
    -activities are consistent with legal framework of each country, and are actually part of the French Guiana river basins management plan (SDAGE, with legal scope).


    Guiana Water Office (OEG), France
    French Guiana Committee on Water and Biodiversity (CEB)
    Amapa Secretary of State for International Relations and Foreign Trade (SECRICOMEX)
    Anton de Kom University of Suriname (AdeKUS)
    International Office for Water (IOWater), technical coordinator of the activities

    Goal 6

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

    Goal 6


    By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all


    Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services


    By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations


    Proportion of population using (a) safely managed sanitation services and (b) a hand-washing facility with soap and water


    By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally


    Proportion of domestic and industrial wastewater flows safely treated


    Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality


    By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

    Change in water-use efficiency over time


    Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources


    By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate


    Degree of integrated water resources management 


    Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation


    By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes

    Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time


    By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies

    Amount of water- and sanitation-related official development assistance that is part of a government-coordinated spending plan


    Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management


    Proportion of local administrative units with established and operational policies and procedures for participation of local communities in water and sanitation management

    Goal 15

    Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

    Goal 15


    By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements

    Forest area as a proportion of total land area
    Proportion of important sites for terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity that are covered by protected areas, by ecosystem type


    By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally

    Progress towards sustainable forest management


    By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world

    Proportion of land that is degraded over total land area


    By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development

    Coverage by protected areas of important sites for mountain biodiversity
    Mountain Green Cover Index


    Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species

    Red List Index


    Promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promote appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed

    Number of countries that have adopted legislative, administrative and policy frameworks to ensure fair and equitable sharing of benefits


    Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products

    Proportion of traded wildlife that was poached or illicitly trafficked


    By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species

    Proportion of countries adopting relevant national legislation and adequately resourcing the prevention or control of invasive alien species


    By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts


    (a) Number of countries that have established national targets in accordance with or similar to Aichi Biodiversity Target 2 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 in their national biodiversity strategy and action plans and the progress reported towards these targets; and (b) integration of biodiversity into national accounting and reporting systems, defined as implementation of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting


    Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems


    (a) Official development assistance on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; and (b) revenue generated and finance mobilized from biodiversity-relevant economic instruments


    Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation


    (a) Official development assistance on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; and (b) revenue generated and finance mobilized from biodiversity-relevant economic instruments


    Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities

    Proportion of traded wildlife that was poached or illicitly trafficked
    Name Description
    Proposal of a scenario for creation of a transboundary Observatory, submitted to authorities of Suriname, Brazil and French Guiana
    Organization of a Conference on Water and Aquatic biodiversity in the Guiana Shield
    Methodological framework for river basin planning in Maroni and Oyapock rivers
    Follow-up assessment of initial commitments at 10th World Water Forum and roadmap made until 2027 (11th World Water Forum), in articulation with International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO)
    Financing (in USD)
    European Union -Interreg Amazonian Cooperation Program-PCIA, Guiana Territorial Collectivity-CTG, French Office for Biodiversity-OFB, National Center for Spatial Studies-CNES, French Guiana Water Office-OEG, General Directorate For Territories & Seas-DGTM
    No progress reports have been submitted. Please sign in and click here to submit one.
    Action Network
    water logo
    01 May 2022 (start date)
    30 April 2026 (date of completion)
    Guiana Water Office (OEG), France
    1. Latin America and the Caribbean
    Other beneficiaries

    Other countries of the Guiana shield

    More information
    Contact Information

    Franck , Head of Water Planning Division, Guiana Water Office (OEG), France