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Boosting sustainable forestry in one of the greenest nations on Earth

Article - August 27, 2012
With over 90% of its landmass covered by forests and benefiting from negligible deforestation, Suriname is creating solutions for sustainable timber harvesting with environmental protection
APPROXIMATELY 14.8 MILLION HECTARES OF SURINAME ARE FORESTED AND CLASSIFIED AS PRIMARY FOREST, THE MOST BIO-DIVERSE AND CARBON-DENSE FORM OF FOREST
Suriname takes pride in being one of the few countries on the planet with an abundance of standing pristine forests, which are considered to be among the most intact in the world and provide the global community with a vital ecological resource.

The country has a long history of nature conservation, biodiversity protection and sustainable forest management. For more than half a century, it has made considerable efforts to develop and enforce legislation for protected areas and sustainable forestry practices. As such, it has put in place various laws to protect at least 15% of its territory, which includes nature reserves and multiple-use areas, and the government is adding to this by taking bold steps in replanting the country’s mangrove forests to protect its vulnerable coastline and contribute to mitigating the consequences of global warming through carbon dioxide absorption.

Suriname is part of the Amazonian Basin, which is an area often linked to the issue of climate change. During the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) that took place in June, Suriname’s Minister of the Environment, Spatial Planning, Land and Forest Management Ginmardo Kromosoeto announced the nation’s pride in assuming the role of Secretary General of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization, ACTO. The Minister reaffirmed the government’s commitment to following the path of incorporating principles of sustainability in its efforts for development through the responsible use of the country’s wealth of natural resources.

He also stated that it would actively participate in designing a financial framework for sustainable development goals (SDGs), saying: “Suriname has made great strides in achieving important economic growth in recent years through prudent macro-economic policies and the sustainable use of its natural resources. This achievement has led to the classification of Suriname as a middle-income country.”

"We have developed the CELOS Management System (CMS), which is a method for sustainable production of high quality hardwoods in tropical forests.
Using this system, we will have light and
well-planned harvests, executed carefully to improve logging efficiency and to limit damage to the remaining standing trees."

Ginmardo Kromosoeto,
Minister of the Environment, Spatial Planning, Land and Forest Management


Foreign know-how is in demand in Suriname to help extract greater economic benefits from the sector, as agriculture, forestry and fishing contributed just 4.8% to the nation’s total GDP in 2010. “There are opportunities for the knowledge the U.S. has in the forestry industry,” comments Tesora Kartodikromo, Business Manager of Suriname’s earth-moving specialist WTEC Solé. “We are currently involved in forestry for local consumption, but not for export markets. We have so much wood waste that we are doing nothing with – just burning it. I think that with American or European know-how and technologies we could do something productive with that waste and use it for energy, biomass, furniture, etc.”

The Ministry of the Environment, Spatial Planning, Land and Forest Management is responsible for managing Suriname’s vast land resources through its three divisions: the Land Management Department, the Forestry Department, and the Physical Planning Department. “We  are working with various partners and UN agencies. We want to show the world that we have potential in forestry and non-timber products, and incredible biodiversity,” says Mr. Kromosoeto.

In total, between 1990 and 2010, Suriname lost 0.1% of its forest cover, or around 18,000 hectares. Globally, deforestation and forest degradation account for nearly 20% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions – more than the entire global transportation sector. In April, a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) mission visited Suriname to discuss arrangements for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) with the Surinamese government and UNDP Suriname.

REDD+ is an effort to assess the financial value of the carbon stored in forests and to offer developing countries incentives to reduce or limit potential emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. The scheme goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

Mr. Kromosoeto says, “We are very serious about preserving our forests and we will stop all illegal activities. We will harvest big trees, so that small trees have the room and space to grow. So, we have developed the CELOS Management System (CMS), which is a method for sustainable production of high quality hardwoods in tropical forests. Using this system, we will have light and well-planned harvests, executed carefully to improve logging efficiency and to limit damage to the remaining standing trees.”

CMS was developed by the Center for Agricultural Research in Suriname (CELOS) and the Agricultural University of Wageningen in The Netherlands, now known as Wageningen UR. Starting in the 1960s, it was originally developed for Suriname, but has since gained international recognition

  2 COMMENTS



Exotic Hardwood
13/09/2012  |  3:36
100% of 1

Hi guys! We are lumber importers, wholesalers, and retailers with over 32 years in the industry and 28 years in the same Miami location.

FFA
13/09/2012  |  3:41
100% of 1

The Florida Forestry Association wants to hear from Suriname's industry!