Kabalebo river in the rainforest of Surinam

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How CfRN Supports REDD+ Capacity-Building in Suriname

Suriname is located in the globally important Amazon Forest and the biodiversity hotspot of the Guiana Shield. The country wishes to maintain its status as one of the world’s most forested nations. Not surprisingly, Suriname’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement pledges to reduce emissions while sustainably developing its economy. Preserving its rich forest is key to that.

A major part of CfRN’s work is through the RRR+ initiative, in which CfRN’s greenhouse gas (GHG) experts support forested nations building capacity for measuring, reporting, and verifying, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) REDD+ mechanism, the emissions reductions countries achieve by keeping their forests standing.

CfRN’s RRR+ team, including Lucila Balam, Marcial Arias, and Milena Niño have been supporting Suriname this year, in a working collaboration that will continue for several years to come. Indeed, at 97% forest cover, Suriname holds the distinction of being the country with the most-forest cover on earth and is one of a very few net carbon-absorbing countries. Each year it cleans up some of the carbon emitted into the atmosphere by the developed world, making it a great candidate to receive climate finance under the REDD+ mechanism.

Thus far, the RRR+ team and Suriname have collaborated on several fronts, including improving Suriname’s land use monitoring system. CfRN’s GHG experts and their Suriname-based counterparts are also reviewing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines and ensuring the consistency of Suriname’s reporting to the UNFCCC.

Suriname delivered its REDD+ Results Technical Annex, which was collated and prepared by CfRN and Suriname’s Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environment and its Foundation for Forest Management and Production Control. The Annex is included in the submission of Suriname’s first Biennial Update Report (BUR). A BUR is a report submitted by developing countries to the United Nations to show progress toward their NDCs. BURs contain updates of national greenhouse gas inventories, including a national inventory report and information on mitigation actions, including reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; needs and support received.

The work the CfRN team is doing to support Suriname helps ensure that Suriname’s REDD+ results and its Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL) are consistent and transparent, in accordance with the rigorous guidelines for REDD+ reporting to UNFCCC. The UNFCCC has defined Forest Reference (Emission) Levels (FREL/FRLs) as benchmarks for assessing each country’s performance in reducing emissions and increasing removals associated with the implementation of REDD+ activities. Suriname’s FREL includes information on drivers of deforestation. Mining, the largest, is driven by artisanal small scale gold mining. Both Suriname’s FREL and its REDD+ results were estimated following the 2006 IPCC Guidelines; the reports are based on the same database, methods, and assumptions.

In a recent LinkedIn post, Lucila Balam, a GHG Inventory & REDD+ Expert at CfRN expressed the feelings of the CfRN team when she wrote, “It is gratifying when important results are obtained through teamwork.”

The post continues, “An example of this is the achievement of Suriname, since they have not only delivered their first BUR, but have worked very hard to include within their BUR, the Technical Annex which contains the results achieved from REDD+ activities. The entire CfRN team is grateful to be able to be part of this process as technical advisors. Given its status as High Forest Low Deforestation (HFLD), #Suriname is a crucial player in the fight against global warming.”

Ms. Balam and the CfRN team extend a special recognition to the technical teams of the Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environment, and the Foundation for Forest Management and Production Control, for their commitment to achieving this significant milestone in Suriname’s REDD+ journey. And CfRN’s RRR+ team also deserve special thanks for the work they are doing to keep 1.5 alive!


Valentien Moe Soe Let, Remote Sensing and GIS team leader, SBB - Foundation for Forest Management and Production Control (far left), and Consuela Paloeng, Program Manager and Reporting Specialist, SBB - Foundation for Forest Management and Production Control (upper row, right), meet with CfRN GHG Experts: Lucila Balam (bottom row, left); Marcial Arias (upper row, left); and Milena Niño (bottom row, right)