Meeting with the Ambassador of Suriname

Ms Ruby Ketting Olivier at the Embassy of Suriname in The Hague

Our Ambassador, Ms Ruby Ketting Oliver, visited the the Ambassador of Suriname, HE Rajendre Khargi, in The Hague. One of the topics discussed was the protection of nature for the benefit of all Surinamese people and the rest of the world. Being the greenest country in the world, Suriname harbors unrivaled natural resources and globally significant biodiversity. Ambassador Khargi works hard to promote natural capital, the foundation of​ socio-economic development. In the recent past, the Ambassador was President of the Board of OneWorld.

Suriname might be the smallest and least populated country in South America, but it is also one of the greenest. Considered a global leader in biodiversity conservation, with more than 90 per cent of its land surface covered by native forests, the nation’s unrivaled natural resources more than make up for its size. 

Suriname is considered a carbon negative country, as its rainforests absorb more emissions than the country emits. Thick green foliage seems to be just about everywhere, even near the outskirts of the capital, Paramaribo, which is itself dotted with bustling markets and cultural centres.

On 2 July 2022, UN Secretary-General António Guterres saw first-hand the commitment of the Surinamese people to protect their natural treasures and ancestral knowledge.

Rainforests are a precious gift to humanity. That is why from here in Suriname, I want to send a message to the world: We must honour and preserve the gift of rainforests because this is not a gift that will keep on giving.

Mr Guterres to reporters at a joint press conference with President Chan Santokhi at the end of his first day in the country.

Suriname’s updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) focus on four key areas; forests, electricity, agriculture and transport. It is committed to maintaining 93 per cent forest cover but says “significant international support is needed for the conservation of this valuable resource in perpetuity.”

Sustainable and “clean” electricity is also a priority and in its updated NDCs, Suriname has pledged to “maintain the share of electricity from renewable sources above 35% by 2030.”

Agriculture is the cause of 40 per cent of the country’s total emissions but also provides a valuable source of income. At the same time, the sector is strongly impacted by climate change, so Suriname is focusing on the development of climate-smart farming. That includes water resources management, the promotion of sustainable land management; and adopting innovative technologies, for example converting biomass into energy.

Transport is another large and growing source of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and plans have been announced to improve public transportation and introduce controls on vehicle emissions.

Both Ambassadors are committed to these goals and have planned future meetings.