First of all, allow me to congratulate Mr.Boen Purnama with his election to the Chair of UNFF-8.
I would like thank the Secretary General for the excellent reports in preparation for the UNFF-8 Meetings.
Furthermore, I would like to thank the UNFF-Secretariat for the work, which has been carried out in preparation for the UNFF-8 Meeting. In this respect, I recall - among others - the various Country-Led Initiatives in support of the UNFF, one of which was held in Suriname last year in collaboration with the Government of the United States of America and the Kingdom of The Netherlands.
I wish to express my appreciation to all those, who have recognized the Government of Suriname as a partner in our strife for sustainable forest management, and our country as a suitable site, to host the CLI Meeting on “Financing for Sustainable Forest Management: The Paramaribo Dialogue”.
Furthermore, I wish to commend the efforts of the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC) and the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, as well as of the Ad-Hoc Experts Group Meeting (AHEG), in making efforts to develop a financial mechanism to achieve the goals of the Non-Legally Binding Instrument (NLBI) of the UNFF.
I would also like to take this opportunity to reconfirm Suriname’s commitment and continuous support to the realization of the objectives of the UNFF.
Suriname has a long history of nature conservation, biodiversity protection and sustainable forest management. During the past fifty years, it required considerable national efforts to develop and enforce legislation for protected areas and sustainable forestry.
Indeed, with more than 90 percent forest cover and negligible deforestation, Suriname takes pride on being one of the few countries on Earth with an abundance of standing pristine forests. These forests provide the global community with crucial ecological services - among others - as a carbon sink, but so far, without any fair compensation in return.
Suriname as High Forest Cover, Low Deforestation Country needs support of the international community for “compensation of existing carbon stocks in standing pristine forests”. This can be achieved by including “forest conservation” in a future REDD-plus mechanism, as part of the efforts to further promote sustainable forest management.
In this regard, due consideration should be given to the fact that HFLD countries would need funds to protect pristine forests from the threat of displacement of deforestation.
I believe that UNFF decisions and actions should reflect the important role of forest carbon sinks and reservoirs in stabilizing the climate on Earth.
In view of the importance of conservation and sustainable forest management, we support the recommendation of the Secretary General of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the United Nations Forum on Forests, to further consider the development of a voluntary global mechanism/portfolio approach/forest financial framework.
Finally, I would like to strongly emphasize that sustainable forest management is very important in contributing to poverty eradication and sustainable development in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals and to contribute to climate stabilization.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.