Validation workshop ´Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation´

08 December 2016

On Thursday, December 8, 2016, the National Institute for Environment in Suriname (NIMOS) REDD+ unit, in close collaboration with the Foundation for Forest Management and Forest Production (SBB) organized a validation workshop to discuss the results and analyses of the following background study for REDD+ in Suriname: Multi perspective analysis of drivers of deforestation, forest degradation and barriers to REDD+ activities 

The most important conclusions of the draft final report presented were as follows:

  • The main drivers of deforestation in the period 2000 to 2015 are: Mining (73%), infrastructure, urban development and agriculture 
  • The deforestation rate has increased 500% in the past 15 years, from 0.02% to 01% 
  • Lack of integrated spatial planning is one of the most important underlying causes of sustaianble forest management

REDD+ eligible activity

Current status

Relevance for REDD+ in Suriname

Main barriers



Suriname has historically had a low deforestation rate, but it could potentially expand significantly in the future. The deforestation rate has increased by a factor of five over the past fifteen years, from roughly 0.02% in 2000-2009 to 0.1% in 2014-2015. The main direct drivers of deforestation in order of importance in Suriname from 2000 to 2015 were mining (73%), road infrastructure (15%), and urban development (4%).

Addressing mining (main driver) will be crucial for Suriname’s REDD+ strategy, especially given the significant non-carbon (social and environmental) benefits that can be generated then (Rahm et al. 2015).

High opportunity cost for addressing mining; significant influence of international gold price (Dezécache 2015), which is difficult to regulate through REDD+.

Maintain Suriname’s status as High Forest cover and Low Deforestation (HFLD) country by integrating REDD+ in Vision 2035 and in the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC.


Known degradation drivers are forestry and shifting cultivation. Other potential drivers of degradation still need to be assessed.

Addressing degradation caused by poor law enforcement is considered to hold significant potential, especially in community forests and HKVs.

Law enforcement is lacking (Code of Practice).

Significant areas of logging concessions currently under conventional logging with potential to shift to sustainable forest management.

Conserving forest carbon stocks

13.5% of the country is currently protected. The degree of enforcement is different, depending especially on whether the protected area (PA) is located where mining potential is high, i.e. in the Greenstone belt.

Highly relevant due to Suriname’s HFLD status.

Potential to expand protected area (PA) network in the Greenstone belt is extremely limited, despite high biodiversity in those areas.

South Suriname Conservation Corridor aims to establish 7 M ha PA to increase total PA area to 45%, thereby preserving much of Suriname’s highly valuable pristine forest ecosystems in the south of the country.

Sustainable management of forests

See “avoided degradation” above.

1.65 million ha are under concession for logging.

Highly relevant as 1.65 million ha are under concessional forest management.

Lack of governance enforcement leading to forest degradation.

Increase the effectiveness of law enforcement and efficiency of sustainable forest management (SFM) as a principle.

forest carbon stocks

Limited success and limited relevance for afforestation/reforestation (A/R) or enrichment planning.

Only relevant for mining areas.

Limited success due to poor up-take of enrichment planting treatments.

Reforesting abandoned bauxite mines.