PLRs recognize the right to access of information, the government is obliged to make information accessible (proactive information disclosure) and the public has the right to request information from public authorities (reactive information disclosure). However, no clear procedures are in place for the public to request and access information. Government institutions for distribution of information are in place, e.g. for REDD+ NIMOS/PMU and the RAC (to inform communities on REDD+ activities). In addition, several websites are operational, www.gov.sr , www.surinameredd.org and NIMOS/PMU produces newsletters and radio programs in tribal languages.
The Forest Management Law recognizes the existence of a system of traditional rights among indigenous and tribal peoples. It provides that the customary rights of the indigenous and tribal peoples in their villages and on their vegetable gardens have to be respected ‘as much as possible.’ However, neither the Forest Management Law nor the legal framework define the term “customary rights”.
The Draft Law Collective Rights ITPs 2019, in Article 3, states that the ITPs in Suriname have legal status as a collective and have collective rights as defined in the law. Article 4 states that the ITPs have collective property rights on their traditional living areas including the natural resources they traditionally use for their self-sufficiency, their culture or religious activities.
PLRs recognize the right to fair distribution and the need to develop an adequate benefit sharing mechanism. At the moment, benefit sharing arrangements are not in place but are planned by the Government.
PLRs also promote gender equity and guarantee adequate access to justice. They also support and encourage the coordination among various agencies that play a role in forest management.
PLRs promote fiscal transparency in the forest sector and the Parliament approves and monitors the financial and political policy of the government. The Anti-Corruption Law 2017 sets rules to prevent and combat corruption in the whole public sector, including the forest sector. Several laws include penalties towards corruption.
PLRs do recognize different types of forest tenure and provide for procedures to apply for a forest concession and a piece of domain land. Although the majority of forested lands in the interior are inhabited by ITPs, 97% of forested land, i.e. most of the traditionally occupied land in the country, is owned by the State. The National REDD+ Strategy addresses this issue under Policy Line 3.A: Land Tenure and the four measures included therein.
REDD+ implementation in Suriname does not intend to lead to forced eviction or physical displacement. Suriname has ratified the UNDRIP, which states in article 10: “No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the option of return”. The National REDD+ Strategy includes several measures that jointly aim at empowering ITPs by engaging them in law- and decision-making processes, clarifying land rights and fostering the principles of FPIC, which can help avoid forced eviction or displacement.
A REDD+ specific Grievance Redress Mechanism is under development.
Please see the PLR analysis for further detail.
- Constitution of Suriname (Article 52, 54, 158 section 1)
- Anti-Corruption Law
- Personnel Law
- Penal code
- Forest Management Law, article 16, 41
- Decree on the Principles of Land Policy, L-1, Article 4
- Civil Code, Article 576
- Gender Policy 2021-2035
- Mining Law, Article 11
- Decree on the Issuance of State-owned Land (S.B. 1982 no. 11 as lastly amended by S.B. 2003 no. 7)
- Expropriation Law (G.B. 1904 no. 37 as lastly amended by G.B. 1935 no. 80)
- National REDD+ Strategy
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
- Inter-American Convention on Corruption