On June 15, President Chandrikapersad Santokhi was visited by a delegation from the European Union (EU) that was led by Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans. Dinotha Vorswijk of Land Policy and Forest Management (GBB), Marciano Dasai of Spatial Planning and the Environment (ROM), and Albert Ramdin of Foreign Affairs, International Business, and International Cooperation (BIBIS) were the ministers in attendance at this conference.
The EU is certain that its efforts will help Suriname stand out at the COP28 international climate summit, which will take place in November 2023 in Dubai. Timmermans argues that Suriname can take the initiative on the subject of climate change. During the maintenance, the protection of the Surinamese rainforest and the people who depend on it were discussed, as well as the sustainable way of economic use of the forest. Combating mercury poisoning and phasing out the export of round wood play an important part in this.
President Santokhi has drawn attention to the generation of funds through carbon credits, which cannot get started due to a lack of local expertise. Timmermans is convinced that carbon credits can be a very important source of income for a country that has a lot of forest. “But it is technically very complicated and there are also many commercial players on the market who want to earn a lot of money very quickly. We would also like to provide advice, so that the Surinamese government can make the best decision,” said the EU official. The visa policy of the European Union was also discussed during this meeting. “We are working hard on it. I myself am also convinced that visa-free travel will become possible, but for that we have to get a political agreement with the member states of the EU,” says Timmermans.