Suriname has received Euro 13 million (One Euro =US$1.29 cents) from the European Union to support investments in sustainable forest management. The announcement came during a meeting between a government delegation led by Finance and Planning Minister, Armand Achaibersing and the European Union delegation led by Ambassador Fernando Ponz Cantó.
Suriname is eligible for support from the EU’s Multi-Annual Indicative Program (MIP), a key component of which is to improve the living standards of village communities by providing technical support for sustainable development of the timber sector and non-timber forest products (NTFP).
The MIP program also includes reforms to improve responsible forest management, protect and restore mangrove forests.
The coordination of the program is done by the Ministry of Finance and Planning with the Ministries of Land Policy and Forest Management (GBB) and Spatial Planning and the Environment (ROM) being responsible for its implantation.
The meeting also discussed the progress towards macroeconomic recovery and cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which last week announced it was providing Suriname with US$55 million after the Dutch-speaking Caribbean country had completed the first review of the extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
Suriname has also been receiving support from other organizations and countries for its forest management policy.
Last week, a government delegation with the support Conservation International Suriname (CIS) went on an orientation visit to Gabon, Africa and the two countries decided to deepen their relationship in forest policy, forest monitoring and charging for ecosystem services.
Suriname and Gabon have the highest forest cover in the world at 88 and 93 percent and they are now part of a small and important group of countries that offset all the greenhouse gases they emit because their forests absorb these gases.
“Suriname must not fall prey to destructive practices in our forests, which have a net absorption of about twenty million tons of CO2 per year. We can’t afford to lose that in our efforts (and our commitments in global forums) to fight climate change along with the rest of the world,” CIS said.