REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation.
The “plus (+)” in REDD+ is a mechanism based on financial compensation to developing countries for:
- Sustainable management of forests (e.g. sustainable timber exploitation);
- Conservation of forest carbon stocks (e.g. nature reserves);
- Enhancement of forest carbon stocks (e.g. reforestation, forest enrichment, afforestation).
REDD+ is a mechanism linked to sustainable developed. This mechanism was developed in 2005 by the United Nations.
REDD+ does not entail:
- Abolition of deforestation
- Abolition of mining activities
- Abolition of timber harvesting
- Restriction of access to the land
The abovementioned can still be done, but:
- In a sustainable and structured manner
- In benefit of all stakeholders
- For sustainable development
- Effect on the environment must be minimum
The REDD+ Readiness Phase was initiated in July 2014. According the REDD+ Project Document the end date of this phase is set on June 2017.
The four (4) REDD+ elements which need to be finalized as part of the Readiness Phase are:
REDD+ is seen by Suriname as one of the means to achieve sustainable development. That means that the government takes into account environmental, social and economic objectives in the formulation of policy by the government.
Worldwide tree planting could indeed have a positive impact on the improvement of health of the earth as a whole. REDD +, however, also focuses on preserving the trees that are already there.
International programs intend to stimulate the protection of already existing forest by compensating countries financially to keep and protect these forests. That fee is needed as an incentive so that countries are not tempted to choose for deforestation for industrial or infrastructural purposes.
There is no exact price tag attached to this. Since the Kyoto Protocol (1997) major climate conferences led to many countries’ commitment to reduce their emissions.
Since 2009 there have been further discussions that have introduced a reward for countries that stop logging or continue with conservation policies. The intention is the set up of a fund with money from polluting countries. So-called compensation funds are paid from this fund to countries that sustainable management of their forest and thus providing a service to the world.
The next 15 years will show how much money the fund wil raise and therefore how much money can be distributed. It is in any case certain that under the current REDD policy, only a dozen countries will be eligible for any funds, because the other countries do not meet the standards.
Suriname could be one of these countries as of 2018, when we fullfill the REDD+ Readiness Phase successfully.
Suriname has over 90% rainforest and is the greenest country in the world. Moreover, Suriname is carbon negative. Our trees have an important role in absorbing CO2 from the air. As long as these trees survive, Suriname can continue to provide absorbtion of CO2 to the world. In addition, the trees protect us from the effects of climate change. Trees hold the soil firmly so that no soil erosion can occur and protect our coasts against the encroaching sea.
Each country has its own choice to develop certain parts of its country, which could entail partial deforestation. Suriname chooses to be balanced as much as possible, but we also need economic development to catch up to the rest of the world. This development will require infrastructure, construction and logging for example. On the other hand there must also be room for social needs such as recreation in nature and conservation. Moreover, we have the human factor. Not only does Suriname have 197 communities still living traditionally in the interior, lots of other people depend on food and medicines from the forest and nature.
REDD + program has a guiding role in the development of long-term national development policy.
The REDD+ program does not mean that no economic or logging activities may take place. The REDD + program is used by Suriname as a development tool, which means that three interests are always weighed in its decisions: economic, social and ecological interests. Logging can take place only if it meets certain conditions. Together with interest, the relevant ministries, sectors and stakeholders should develop policy and monitoring. Through the REDD+ program research on the status quo of the forest and the development of monitoring systems are financed.
"We are the forest" is the slogan of REDD+ in Suriname. The slogan refers to the age-old connection of the people of Suriname with nature. As the greenest country in the world we are surrounded by forest. Suriname forms with more than 95% forest a large portion of the last remaining rain forests of the world. "We are the forest" refers to this and immediately emphasizes the importance of REDD+. It concerns all of us, we are all involved and "touched" somehow if we don’t use our forest in a sustainable way.
We live in the forest, we live with the forest and from the forest, in short, we are the forest.
Indeed, these communities have a lot of knowledge about life in and with the forest. Therefore they are an important part of the REDD+ program in Suriname. Communities, usually through representative organizations, such as members of the Major Groups Collective, have sent representatives for the training to be REDD+ assistants and are represented in the various sub-projects within the national REDD+ program.
Suriname wants to use REDD+ as a tool for promoting sustainable forest use in the context of sustainable development. To achieve this involvement of several community groups, known as the Major Groups, is necessary: peasants and farmers, the private sector, women and women's organizations, traditional communities, scientists, youth and children and local authorities.
What we do know is that Suriname is currently one of the 12 countries worldwide that might be eligible for financial compensation from such funds. Political commitment to "maintain the world's greenest country" status was expressed repeatedly.
It is still unclear how the financial side of the REDD+ program will look like eventually. This depends among other things on the contributions which "polluting" countries will give to the funds. So how much and when funds are released is still unknown.
Untill 2018 Suriname already gets a provisional USD 3.8 million fund to execute its readiness phase. These funds will be invested in strengthening the capacity of institutions that need to monitor, in further enhancing consultation processes with various target groups, and in expanding awareness on REDD+ related issues.
The REDD+ transition project was initiated after the adoption of the resolution by the World Bank in March 2013. This process continued until the end of 2014 and had a particular purpose:
REDD+ readiness process offers an opportunity for the GoS to leverage efforts and results towards sustainable development. Learning from past experience, REDD+ already fostered openness, participation and transparency, improved data collection and analysis, national and multi-sectoral dialogue and cooperation.
Key factors for REDD+ readiness success are fully consistent with and supportive of the efforts of the GoS and the United Nations strategy to promote more inclusive, fair, well-informed and robust, climate-compatible and sustainable development. There is obvious win-win potential to be tapped in Suriname between REDD+ and the overall development process. Thus, REDD+ can be seen as a tool to support and foster national dialogue with indigenous and maroon peoples, to strengthen its practice of democracy, to improve public effectiveness and accountability, governance, legislation and the business environment, to accelerate decentralization and to enhance regional and international stance, and diplomatic positioning.
Ministries, Government Authorities, Women, Children and Youth, Indigenous and Tribal people, Non-Governmental Organizations, Local Authorities, Workers and their Trade Unions, Business and Industry, Scientific and Technological community, Farmers, Logging and Mining Companies, Knowledge Institutes.