SURINAME
 
 

STATEMENT 

BY

H.E. CLIFFORD P. MARICA
MINISTER OF LABOUR, TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENT

AT THE OCCASION OF THE WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
 

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA,
03 SEPTEMBER 2002


MR./MADAM CHAIRMAN/CHAIRPERSON

FIRST, ON BEHALF OF PRESIDENT VENETIAAN AND THE PEOPLE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SURINAME, MY DELEGATION WANTS TO JOIN IN THE EXPRESSIONS OF GRATITUDE AND APPRECIATION TO THE PRESIDENT AND THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH AFRICA FOR PUTTING SUCH EXCELLENT FACILITIES AT OUR DISPOSAL.

MR. CHAIRMAN

TEN YEARS AGO PRESIDENT VENETIAAN COMMITTED THE REPUBLIC OF SURINAME AS A PARTNER IN THE GLOBAL EFFORTS TO PRESERVE THE LIFE-SUPPORT SYSTEMS OF THIS PLANET. WE MADE THE COMMITMENT TO CONSERVE OUR RICH BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY AND TO EXPAND THE AREA UNDER PROTECTION FROM FIVE TO SEVEN PERCENT OF OUR TOTAL LAND AREA, AND TO CREATE THE INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF THIS AREA.

WE REALIZED THEN THAT AS PART OF THE REGION KNOWN AS AMAZONIA, WITH A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF INTACT TROPICAL RAIN FORESTS THAN ANY OTHER REGION ON EARTH, WITH UNIQUE ECOSYSTEMS, AND MORE THAN TEN PERCENT OF THE WORLD'S FRESH WATER, SURINAME WITH A LONG TRADITION OF BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION HAD A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO CONTRIBUTE TO CONSERVATION AT A SCALE THAT NO LONGER SEEMS TO BE POSSIBLE IN ANY OTHER PART OF THE WORLD.

AND TODAY, MR. CHAIRMAN, AMIDST REPORTS OF CONTINUED DESTRUCTION OF TROPICAL RAINFORESTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION, THE REPUBLIC OF SURINAME IS HAPPY TO REPORT THAT WE HAVE TAKEN DECISIVE STEPS TO MEET THE COMMITMENTS WE MADE IN RIO BY THE SIGNING OF AGENDA 21. WE RATIFIED ALL MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONVENTIONS, AND DURING THE PAST FIVE YEARS WE HAVE DEVELOPED INSTITUTIONS AND STRUCTURES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION.

A RESOUNDING DEMONSTRATION OF OUR COMMITMENT WAS THE ESTABLISHMENT, IN 1998, OF THE CENTRAL SURINAME NATURE RESERVE, 1.6 MILLION HECTARES OF ONE OF THE LARGEST STRETCHES OF THE MOST PRISTINE TROPICAL RAINFORESTS ON EARTH. WITH THIS ECOLOGICAL CORRIDOR, WHICH HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED AS A WORLD HERITAGE SITE, WE HAVE EXPANDED THE AREA UNDER PROTECTION FROM FIVE TO FIFTEEN PERCENT OF OUR TOTAL LAND AREA.

FURTHER MORE THERE HAS BEEN INCREASED CIVIL SOCIETY AWARENESS ON ISSUES SUCH AS POVERTY REDUCTION, GOOD GOVERNANCE AND DECENTRALIZATION. THE ACTIVE SUPPORT OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND DONORS FOR PARTICIPATORY APPROACHES IN DEVELOPMENTAL PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS HAS REINFORCED THIS INCREASED AWARENESS. IN THIS REGARD, WE WANT TO PAY SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO' CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL, THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY, THE UNDP, THE IDB AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS FOR THEIR SUSTAINED CONTRIBUTION TO OUR EFFORTS.

MR. CHAIRMAN,

THE GOVERNMENT OF SURINAME RECOGNIZES THE ROLE OF PUBLIC- PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP IN THE PROCESS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. WE ARE THEREFOR CONVINCED THAT INVOLVEMENT OF ALL MAJOR GROUPS AND STAKEHOLDERS E.G. OUR INDIGENOUS AND MAROON PEOPLE, WOMEN'S AND YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS, TRADE UNIONS AND BUSINESS SECTOR, IS CRUCIAL FOR ANY MEANINGFUL CONCEPTION IN THIS REGARD.

ANOTHER CRUCIAL CHALLENGE FOR GOVERNMENTS AND ITS SOCIAL PARTNERS COMES FROM GLOBALIZATION. ALTHOUGH GLOBALIZATION HAS IMPROVED LIVES AROUND THE WORLD AND OFFERS ENORMOUS OPPORTUNITIES FOR FURTHER IMPROVEMENT, OUR CHALLENGE REMAINS TO ENSURE THAT ALL COUNTRIES ENJOY ITS BENEFITS. EFFORTS AT THE INTERNATIONAL, REGIONAL AND NATIONAL LEVELS ARE REQUIRED TO MAKE GLOBALIZATION WORK FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND MAKE IT EQUITABLE, INCLUSIVE AND RESPONSIVE TO THE NEEDS OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, LIKE SURINAME.

MR. CHAIRMAN,

THE CONVENTION ON BIODIVERSITY RECOGNIZES THAT THE BURDEN OF CONSERVATION SHOULD NOT FALL ON COUNTRIES LIKE SURINAME ALONE. WE, THE PEOPLE OF SURINAME, HAVE DEMONSTRATED OUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21. WE ARE DETERMINED TO CONTINUE OUR EFFORTS TO MOBILIZE OUR NATIONAL CAPACITY FOR SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF OUR NATURAL RESOURCES. WHILE OUR RICH MINERAL RESOURCES ARE AN INDISPENSABLE SOURCE OF THE NATIONAL INCOME, THEY WILL BE DEVELOPED WITH CONSIDERATION OF CONSERVATION ACTIVITIES AND BEST PRACTICES, TO MINIMIZE THE IMPACT ON THE ECOLOGY.

AND AS CONSERVATION BECOMES INTERWOVEN INTO OUR DEVELOPMENT, AND WE DIVERSIFY AND EXPAND THE BASE OF OUR ECONOMY TO IMPROVE THE STANDARD OF LIVING OF OUR PEOPLE BY PRIORITIZING THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF OUR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, WE WILL BE REQUIRING FAIR COMPENSATION FOR ECOLOGICAL SERVICES PROVIDED TO THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY.

MR. CHAIRMAN,

THE REPUBLIC OF SURINAME WILL LEAVE THIS SUMMIT INVIGOURATED TO CONTINUE ON THE PATH WE HAVE SET OUT, AT THE SAME TIME COMMITTED TO WORKING WITH THE OTHER NATIONS AND INSTITUTIONS OF THE WORLD TO REACH THE GOALS THAT HAVE REDEFINED THE CONCEPTION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

I THANK YOU.