REDD+ Suriname

Suriname is a high forest cover (93%) and low deforestation country, otherwise known as a HFLD country. It has a very low population density of 2.9 hab/kmor 567.000 people on 164.000 km2. Forest is a central component of its economic, social and cultural life. It is a medium income country in terms of GDP per capita, with medium development rate. The human development index is estimated to be 0.684 for 2012, and has increased for the last decade (0.666 in 2005). However, the situation is heterogeneous with for instance Paramaribo ranking as a high human development district (0.741) and Sipaliwini district ranking lower with a HDI of 0.522.


Suriname is the most forested country in the world, why would a forest protection program still be necessary?

REDD+ offers a unique opportunity for Suriname to - in spite of economic development - keep its emissions low. Based on the current growth, a projection can be made for Suriname's GDP and population in 2020 and 2050. It is very likely that the population will grow and GDP will increase, but what will happen to the forest cover and deforestation is not yet indicatable.

In other words, how Suriname will deal with the forest in the context of development has yet to be determined. Suriname wants to use REDD+ in an innovative way, namely as a (planning) instrument for sustainable development, as support for the achievement of economic and development objectives.


What can REDD+ mean for Suriname?

Because of its high coverage of tropical forests, REDD+ could be of interest to Suriname. Partly because of its strong tradition of sustainable forest management compared to other countries just little deforestation takes place. By decreasing the amounts of expected deforestation Suriname may be eligible for financial compensation from the REDD+ mechanism.

Mind you, the idea is in no way to stop logging or exports of timber and timber products. Deforestation for the purpose of the construction of roads, construction of agricultural land and hydro-power can continue. However, more sustainable methods of working will be promoted or made obligatory.

REDD+ creates economic value for standing forests and seeks to influence the planning and development so that deforestation is kept as low as possible, without inhibiting the development. Suriname decides for itself which parts of our forest we will retain, use or deforest for the benefit of our development.

In order to utilize the opportunities mentioned above in a way that contributes to our development it is very important:

  • to expand existing monitoring and management systems, and develop new ones,
  • as well as to formulate a national and broad-based REDD+ strategy, which could be applied in all sectors and takes into account all stakeholders.


What are HFLD Countries?

Suriname is the greenest country in the world, meaning that Suriname has the highest percentage of forest area (% of land area). Suriname categorizes as a High Forest cover, Low deforestation country (HFLD). A developing country with more than 50% forest cover and a deforestation rate below 0.22% per year is considered to fall into the High forest cover, low deforestation category, as described by the REDD desk.

According to a 2007 article, HFLD countries contain 20 percent of Earth’s remaining tropical forest and 18 percent of tropical forest carbon.

The HFLD countries are:

  • Panama
  • Colombia
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Peru
  • Belize
  • Gabon
  • Guyana
  • Suriname
  • Bhutan
  • Zambia
  • French Guiana

See the top-10 most forested countries. Suriname is number one.

Suriname as a HFLD country

Suriname stands out as one of only eleven countries in the world, known for high forest cover and low deforestation rates (HFLD). Suriname's forests form part of the Guiana Shield tropical forest ecosystem, one of the largest contiguous and relatively intact forested eco-regions in the world. At a local and global level these forests provide important goods and services, including income and food security for forest communities, as well as climate mitigation and biodiversity preservation for society at large.

As one of the few countries in the world classified as HFLD, Suriname provides a unique opportunity to maintain some of the world’s most important biodiversity and freshwater resources while simultaneously avoiding significant greenhouse gas emissions

Although Suriname’s forest cover and deforestation rate currently maintains the country’s HFLD status, the trend in the deforestation rate appears to be strongly increasing, and if it continues to increase linearly, the annual deforestation rate may exceed 0.5% around 2025 (total forest cover will by then have fallen below 90%).