Suriname warns that climate change has become the major issue of this century

Ginmardo Kromosoeto

Climate change has become the major issue of this century. So says Suriname’s Minister of the Environment Ginmardo Kromosoeto. He told the joint high-level segment of the UN climate conference in Cancun, Mexico that climate change was not only an environmental issue, but primarily a cross-cutting issue which should be included in national development planning. He said Suriname has been experiencing the impacts of the accelerating change in the global climate all over the world.

Kromosoeto: Suriname, as part of the rich Amazon rainforest region, possesses and maintains one of the largest stretches of pristine tropical rainforests on earth, and is one of only 11 countries worldwide which can be categorized as a “high forest”, low deforestation country. Since the early 1950′s sustainable forest management and nature conservation have been essential components of the environmental policies in my country. As a direct consequence, 13% of our land is formally classified as protected areas, of which the Central Suriname Nature Reserve, some 1.6 million hectares large, has been designated a UNESCO Heritage site. Suriname is convinced that in the context of the current global regime, the indispensable role of intact tropical natural forests as carbon sinks and a source of environmental ecosystem services, must not be disregarded.

NARR: Minister Kromosoeto noted that Suriname has put a lot of effort in promoting sustainable forest management and forest conservation and is actively involved in efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation -REDD. He said Suriname therefore strongly advocates that the world community should adequately compensate those countries which for decades have upheld an excellent track record in conserving their forests, and in promoting and applying sustainable forest management.

Kromosoeto: Suriname, with its low-lying coastal zone, where 80% of its population lives, is highly susceptible to the effects of climate change. Different studies on the impact of sea level rise on developing countries have concluded that with a sea-level rise of one metre, the population and socio-economic activities of Suriname will be severely impacted. Suriname is currently already experiencing changing weather patterns, which have already resulted in floods, coastal erosion, salt water intrusion and land degradation. The policy of the Government of Suriname therefore, aims to address the impacts of climate change by developing a National Climate Change Action Plan and Strategy. But to implement such adaptation and mitigation plans, adequate financial resources are of particular importance, which we, as a developing nation, would like to prioritize for investments in health, education and other sectors of sustainable development. We look forward to further implementation of and simplified procedures to the adaptation fund under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

NARR: Minister Kromosoeto said that for Suriname, adaptation is a development issue.
And he urged an immediate balanced allocation of financial resources between adaptation and mitigation.

This is Donn Bobb reporting

(duration: 3’29″) 

Filed under Caribbean News.
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