Suriname secures first funding for REDD+ participation

P2224230-1024x768PARAMARIBO–Suriname has secured approval for its Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP 2013) and will receive US$ 3.8 million to prepare for participation in the United Nation’s REDD+ initiatives that focus on reducing emissions from deforestation and enhancing forest carbon stocks.

The UN’s Collaborative Program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) is a set of steps designed to use market and financial incentives to encourage forest rich countries to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. Its objective is to reduce greenhouse gases. Estimates are that deforestation and forest degradation account for 20-25% of greenhouse gas emissions, which is higher than the transportation sector.

Suriname, which has one of the lowest deforestation rates in the world, has since 2009 undertaken efforts to participate in the REDD+ mechanisms; its proposal was drafted with the help of international experts, partial financing by Guiana Shield Facility and monitoring by the UNDP.

Final approval was granted last week Thursday, at the offices of the World Bank in Washington DC by the Participants Committee of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). This committee works on reducing emissions from deforestation, forest degradation and forest carbon stock conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+). It comprises 36 REDD country participants and 18 financial contributors–including 15 donor countries, 2 private sector companies and one NGO—with total funding of US$ 648 million. Suriname is one of six forest rich countries who now share US$ 23 million earmarked for national REDD+ readiness programs. Chile, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Suriname, Thailand and Vanuatu also received the nod.

Environmentalists are characterizing this as an important validation of Suriname’s long term sustainable development vision. “Finally the international community has understood Suriname’s vision and validated that with this approval,” said John Goedschalk, Director of the Climate Compatible Development Agency (CCDA), which directs Suriname’s climate change efforts. “Now that the R-PP has been approved, a new preparation phase starts that will enable Suriname to fully participate in the REDD+ mechanisms,” the CCDA said. It emphasized that the US$ 3.8 grant is not a payment for sustainable forest management, but support for formulating and preparing for the participation in the REDD+ mechanisms, which are expected to take effect as of 2020.

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