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News release

Suriname accedes to the ITTA, 2006

7 March 2014

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Suriname uses ITTO Criteria and Indicators for reporting the status of forest management. Photo: SBB, Suriname.

The Government of Suriname acceded to the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 2006, on 28 February 2014 becoming the Sixty-eighth Party to the Agreement, in accordance with its Article 39 (4) [1].
 
Suriname has a forest area of 14.8 million hectares [2], which represent almost 91% of its territory. Three broad forest zones can be distinguished, corresponding to the three major biogeographical zones [3]: the hydrophytic forests in the north, which comprise swamp forests, mangroves and ridge and marsh forests; xerophytic savanna forests in the savanna belt; and the predominant mesophytic humid forest types of the Guyana Shield. These, in turn, comprise the following forest types:

• high dryland forest (rainforest) – 13.3 million hectares
• high savanna forest or dry evergreen forest – 132 000 hectares
• low savanna forest – 18 000 hectares
• high swamp forest – 483 000 hectares
• low swamp forest – 239 000 hectares
• mangrove forest – 100 000 hectares
• marsh forest – 468 000 hectares
• ridge forest – 35 000 hectares.
 
The forests are characterized by a wide variety of species – more than 600 tree species have been described. Some 50 species are known as class ‘A’ commercial species and about 100 as class ‘B’. Many such species proved highly suitable for some very demanding applications in construction and furniture manufacturing.
 
There are several systems for timber harvesting, including concessions, community forests and incidental cutting licenses (ICLs). In early 2010, a total area of 1.22 million hectares was under 68 active concessions.
 
Suriname has a large and mostly intact forest resource which hosts an important stock of carbon biomass and biodiversity of global significance.
 
ITTO will continue working with Suriname in order to enhance the sustainable management of its forest resources.
 
Suriname first became a member of ITTO in August 1998 under the ITTA, 1994.
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[1] http://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/CN/2014/CN.99.2014-Eng.pdf
[2] Figures according to Forest Resources Assessment 2010 (FRA 2010) http://www.fao.org/forestry/fra/fra2010/en/
[3] Status of Tropical Forest Management 2011, ITTO
http://www.itto.int/sfm/