SURINAME CCCD

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Cross-Cutting Capacity Development Project

In 1992, the Earth Summit was gathered in Rio de Janeiro. A prominent result of the summit was the consolidation of the three Rio Conventions, formed to face the challenges to sustainability and development:

United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD):

  • To conserve biological diversity: to safeguard representative ecosystems and habitats, as well as the full diversity of species and genetic materials;

  • To use biodiversity in a sustainable manner: usage in a way and rate that resources are not exhausted, but instead renew;

  • The equitable sharing of benefits are derived from the access to genetic resources and their use.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC):

The UNFCCC aims at stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. ​

  • To reduce greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Key actions to this end are development and promotion of energy‐saving measures and the protection of carbon(forests, peat areas, etc.); sinks change (increase of temperature, sea level rise, dryer/wetter.

  • To assess the direct effects of greenhouse gas on climate seasons, intensification of UV radiation, etc.) and to develop adaptations to cope with or to decrease these effects.

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (Land Degradation; UNCCD):

A serious environmental issue in regards to this subject in Suriname is land degradation. Land degradation in Suriname takes expression in a two main ways:

  • The massive destruction of land in forested areas as a result of mining – Beyond destruction of land, the mines cause the destruction of natural conditions, habitats, flora and fauna, and cut off ecological corridors. This leads to environmental pollution that may percolate into the groundwater and rivers.

  • Coast Erosion - Processes of coastal retreat and the penetration of sea water into land as well as acute erosion of land adjacent to the coast.

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The Challenges of the Rio Conventions For Suriname

Suriname is one of the greenest countries in the world, with a vast, uninterrupted natural tropical forest, a high diversity of species and substantial contribution to the mitigation of climate change. This natural environment must be protected. Suriname is on the path to fulfill its goals in light of the Rio Conventions, in the form of developing a plan for protection of its natural resources, and treat them as an ecological treasure with long-term economic significance, as well as cultural and social importance. The CCCD Project presents the main planning principles, at the national and district level.

Central Environmental Issues

Suriname is dealing with a series of environmental challenges, mainly the quarry issue, affecting the eastern parts - a vast distribution of gold mines along streams, causing pollution, erosion and damage to biodiversity; constant reduction of the mangrove streak protecting the coasts. Due to mangrove removal erosion processes are initiated and sea water penetrate the land. This may worsen with the increase in sea level rise; Salinization of rivers and agricultural areas, due to excess pumping, which may also increase due to sea level rise; deforestation, while currently controlled and moderate, still poses is a need to find ways for safekeeping and nurturing of the forest.

Participation of the Local Communities

Any discussion of natural resources in Suriname, and primarily the forests, must take into account the rights of the local communities, with respect for their ways of life and culture. The preservation of the forests must be carried out with full participation of the local communities, and to their benefit and development.

Synergy Between the Rio Conventions And Its Implications

The three Rio conventions deal with various issues - climate, biodiversity and soil degradation. However, many of them share, information and basic data, processes and mechanisms, methods of action and implementation recommendations. This way, the fulfillment of the terms of a single Convention would follow the fulfillment of some of terms, of other treaties. Almost every activity relates directly or indirectly to the three conventions. Therefore, the recommendations and conclusions will also be largely shared: Recommendations regarding the completion of information gaps in all areas will directly contribute to the response to the conventions.

Cross-Cutting Capacity  Development Project

Suriname is one of many nations to have signed the Rio Conventions. The process of adaptation and  preparation to meet the requirements set in the conventions is complicated, and has spread across multiple stages and a significant amount of time. The CCCD Project follows the National Capacity Self-Assessment (NCSA) of Suriname, which has concluded that there are capacity constraints and gaps, posing challenges in fulfilling environmental commitments under the Rio Conventions and otherwise. The CCCD Project is targeted towards addressing these gaps, by supporting interventions to strengthen government structures and civil society mechanisms, to improve the institutional framework set up to implement the Rio Conventions and to deliver global environmental benefits.

Current literature has laid theoretical background to the CCCD Project, mainly in policy related guidelines. Most of them discuss the theoretical foundations. However, there is a need to address the emergence of challenges and issues, in detail and in specific areas.

National Level Roadmap

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The CCCD Project constitutes a continuation and additional layer in the country's preparations for coping with the Rio Conventions, adding practical, applicable content and a geographical regional focus. This is the way to divide a large and complex issue into sub-issues, topics and sub-topics, and regional division. Thus, it is possible to focus on each region, and to present proposals, alternatives and suitable ways of coping with challenges. The CCCD Project includes a series of maps, depicting the existing physical, natural and social conditions in Suriname, analyzing the situation and discussing the challenges. One of these results is the "Road Map", including proposed zoning and desired development directions. This form of coping is a paramount tool for responding to the requirements of the Rio Conventions. 

 

The proposed planning guidelines and the Road Map are not a substitute for a practical and immediate plan for Suriname. This is an environmental strategy from which detailed plans are to be drawn up in each and every area, resulting in plans inspired by the general outline.