List of socio-environmental organizations in Suriname

This is a list of the major environmental and sustainability organizations I have encountered (either personally or through internet research) in Suriname. I do not guarantee for completeness of the list! (Write me though if you have another organization or person to add!)

I hope this list could be useful for future volunteers/job seekers to find a suitable project and organization to work with, for researchers willing to do work in the region or any other person interested in the civil society and environmental activities in Suriname!

 

Name


Active in


Type of organization


Website


Green Heritage Fund
  • Dolphin and Sloth Protection
  • Education and Information
  • Culture and Community development
  • Environmental Impact Monitoring

 

local

greenfundsuriname.org/en/
Stichting Samarja 
  • Waste management, recycling
  • Awareness raising

 

local

samarja.org
Stichting Suwama 
  • Waste management, recycling
  • Awareness raising

 

local

suwama.org
Stichting SOS Education 
  • waste clean-up, recycling and reuse
  • children’s environmental education
  • community development

 

local

Suriname Conservation Foundation (SCF)  In cooperation with Conservation International working on:

  • Biodiversity
  • Environmental protection

 

local scf.sr.org
Foundation for Nature Conservation in Suriname (STINASU)

Stinasu is in charge of the management and (eco-)tourism operations at nature park Brownsberg and Ralleighvallen


 

local

  stinasu.sr
Pikin Sranan organic farm


 

Danpaati

organic farm for tea and herbs in Lelydorp


 

Eco-tourism in cooperation with Bonama Foundation. Projects on public health and support for the elderly in Maroon (Saamaka) villages in the interior.

 

local


local

http://pikinsranan.net


 

 

 

danpaati.net

Amazon Conservation Team (ACT)
  • Indigenous community development
  • Cultural conservation and education
  • Land use mapping

 

act-suriname.org
Tropenbois
  • Sustainable Forest Management
  • Community Development

 

 int’nl

tropenbos.org/country_programmes/suriname
WWF
Guianas
Active in the three Guyanas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana)

  • gold mining pollution abatement
  • sustainable fisheries
  • marine turtles conservation

 

 int’nl

wwfguianas.org
Conservation International 
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate change
  • Deforestation & REDD+

 

 int’nl 

conservation.org/global/suriname/Pages/default.aspx
United Nations
  • development aid and technical cooperation
  • ensuring respect for human rights
  • reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

 

 int’nl 

http://sr.one.un.org/united-nations-suriname/

http://undpsuriname.org

NIMOS (National Institute for Environment and Development in Suriname)  Institute set up to support the Ministry of Labour and the Environment (ATM) in:

  • national environmental legislation and regulation
  • monitoring of compliance

 

local

nimos.org
CEYLOS

(Center for Agricultural Research in Suriname)

 

linked with the Anton de Kom University of Suriname (ADEK); active in various areas of Agriculture and Forestry


 

local

  celos.sr.org
Foundation for Forest Management and Production Control (Stichting Bosbeheer en Bostoezicht, SBB) National Forest Authority under the responsibility Ministry of Natural Resources engaged in Sustainable Forest Management (Unlike the name suggests, SBB is not a real foundation)


local

http://sbbsur.org
Foundation for a clean Suriname (Stichting voor een Schoon Suriname, SvSS)

 

 

 

A NGO based in the Netherlands. According to their website they work on a multiple range of sustainable development issues. Not sure if they have any ongoing projects.   int’nl


svss.nl 
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Biodiversity laws in Suriname need an update and more enforcement!

Believe it or not, despite Suriname’s extremely rich resources in flora and fauna, the country’s Nature Conservation Law as well as the Hunting Law date back to 1954 (when they were formulated and implemented by the then Dutch government)! Though the Nature Conservation Law was quite progressive and strong for the 50s, 60s and even the 70s (actually, Suriname was the first South American country to have such a law!), those laws clearly do not correspond to the realities of the 21st century anymore and need to be updated (especially when it comes to gold mining activities in the interior, and issues of community and land rights)!

Suriname has a high biological diversity with e.g. 185 mammal species, 668 bird species, 152 reptile species, 95 amphibian species, 338 fresh water fish species, 452 marine fish species, 1,750 invertebrata and 5,075 Spermatophyta (plant) species (M. Werkhoven and F. Baal, 1995).

Jaguar

Jaguar

Since the grand majority of the population lives in the coastal areas, and since most of the interior is only accessible by boat or plane, the interior remains relatively untouched which is a good thing for biodiversity protection. Nevertheless, especially small-scale gold miners are invading the forests in the interior and contribute to deforestation, pollution (soil, air and waste) as well as in reduction in animal species due to poaching activities around the mining areas.

Suriname has established 16 protected areas (11 nature reserves, 1 nature park and 4 Multiple‑use Management Areas) that encompass about 14% of the country’s terrestrial surfaces. Actually, those 14% seem not a lot to me, if we know that the majority of the population (about 90%) lives on the coastal plain anyway!

Further, park management seems rather poor to me and economic interests (i.e. gold mining) are often put over the protection of natural areas. Enforcement and control of existing laws and regulation is therefore a major problem.

Protected areas of Surina

Protected areas of Suriname (Source: Suriname Conservation Foundation)

 

Further, there exists different categories of protected or natural areas, and not so surprisingly, all coastal zones (where most of the oil drilling takes place) are classified as MUMA (multiple use management areas) – the lowest category of IUCN’s protected areas list – and are thus exploitable for companies such as Staatsolie.

Read more:

Suriname Conservation Foundation  and presentation on effective management of protected areas

National Biodiversity Strategy (from 2006)

WWF Living Guianas Report 2012

National Heritage of Suriname

Protected Planet: Protected areas of Suriname

Climate Change: Adaptation and Mitigation strategies for Suriname

While Suriname’s greenhouse gas emissions are rather low (at least compared to more industrialized countries) and climate change mitigation (as for now) not being a real concern for the country, Suriname is particularly vulnerable to climate change due to its low-lying coastal zones. Sea level rise thus poses an important potential threat for Suriname’s mostly coastal based population as well as the agricultural activities practiced on the coastal plain where Suriname’s most fertile soils are found.

Simplified model of sea level rise’s causes and effects. I found this image on Wikimedia Commons – a quite funny one: have a look at the person drowning in the sea holding a spray can in its hand!

 

Adaptation measures to climate change will thus be the major concern for the country.

Nevertheless, Suriname still has lots of potentials in reducing its own carbon footprint through improvements in efficiency and pollution abatement in the energy, transport, industry and agricultural sector, among others!

The Surinamese government has therefore ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1997. (A first National Communication was submitted to the UNFCCC in 2005, a second national communication was submitted end of 2013.)

In this regard, the government has created the Climate Compatible Development Agency, and on several official sites of the government, I saw words of a “Climate Compatible Development Strategy” being developed, but then no proof of its existence or implementation can be found on the net or would someone ever have mentioned it to me (so I guess, it remains a myth). It does not seem as if climate change is playing a significant role on the agenda of the Surinamese government (no wonder when the country is making so much money from resource extracting activities such as mining! But shouldn’t governments also care for future generations’ rights and needs?).

I nevertheless hope that the Government of Suriname will really come to put in place a well-thought sustainable development strategy to guide the country into the right direction, instead of continuing its current ad-hoc policy-and decision-making.

 

REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation)

Nevertheless, Suriname can potentially play an important role in climate change mitigation, through its vast forest resources (more than 90% of its land surface is covered by forests). We know now that forests play a key role in global efforts to mitigate climate change. Trees store carbon by sucking in carbon dioxide (an important greenhouse gas) from the atmosphere and locking it into their biomass (carbon sink and storage). Further, healthy soils beneath healthy trees also act as effective carbon sinks.

Tropical forests (Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Tropical forests (Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Thus, the idea was born to include forests in the climate change mitigations scheme and a mechanism called “REDD – Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation” was created within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2008. Basically, REDD (and its further developed successor REDD+) gives financial incentives to leave forests standing rather than to cut them down:

REDD+ is a payment-based mechanism for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, plus the enhancement of forest carbon stocks, conservation and sustainable forest management. (Source: Tropenbois Suriname)

Since Suriname belongs to the so called HFLD countries: High Forest cover, Low Deforestation, Suriname has been included in the list of countries eligible to receive payments through REDD+. Despite its neighboring country Guyana, that has already received REDD+ payments, in Suriname no further action other than preparatory reports has so far been taken. WWF Guianas is involved in this process as well as the French National Forestry Bureau (ONF) through international cooperation with French Guiana.

I think, I will leave the discussion whether REDD+ can be a feasible climate change mitigation tool in another blog post (Guyana has more experience with REDD than Suriname).

Read more about REDD:

UN REDD Programme

Tropenbois Suriname

Forest Carbon Partnership

Project Proposal for REDD+ Readiness Preparation Report

Water and Sanitation in Suriname: a problem mostly for the interior

Water is very abundant in tropical and humid Suriname. Although access to water and sanitation facilities are of no big problem in the urban areas along the coast of Suriname, things look quite differently in the interior as the quote of the United Nations below summarizes well:

Use of improved water and sanitation facilities is 96.5 percent in Paramaribo and 90 percent throughout the coastal area. In the interior only 45 per cent of households use improved drinking water sources, 33 percent use sanitary means of excreta disposal, and only 24 percent of households use both.  Seventy-eight percent of households in the interior do not treat the water that they collect and only 10 percent use an appropriate form of treatment.  Only 26 percent of households have water available on the premises, while most households have to walk an average 21 minutes to get to the source to collect water an activity that is to 80 percent done by women.  Over half of the population in the interior has no means of excreta disposal; most excreta go straight into the rivers and creeks which at the same time serve as the main water supply. (Source: United Nations Suriname)

Water

(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Forestry & Agriculture in Suriname: hardly regulated mining, lumber and agriculture activities cause environmental deforestation and degradation of ecosystems

Approximately 90% of Suriname’s land area is covered by (primary and secondary) forests. Due to this abundance, many people would say that deforestation does not pose a heavy threat to Suriname. As of yet, I would say! The ever growing exploitation of natural resources, especially of bauxite and gold mining, as well as urbanization are both causing continuous deforestation. Since no law obliges neither the mining companies nor the small-scale miners to engage in reforestation and mining site rehabilitation after mining operations, mining sites are usually left in horrifying states of destruction with soil and waterways degraded. (Only the multinational companies would follow their own – voluntary! – Corporate social responsibility programs, standards and objectives. How or if nature will reclaim its original state in decades to come, or if professional eco-engineering will be required, remains to be seen.

Degraded area after small-scale mining operations (Source: WWF Guianas)

Mining is causing deforestation in many areas of Suriname  (Image Source: WWF Guianas)

Lumber industry is a growing business, since Suriname’s forests are home to many exotic wood species quite demanded in the developed world. But even less valuable wood has been exported a lot in order to produce simple pallets. Many Chinese companies have opened wood factories and export companies. Wood has been exported (especially to Europe and Asia) for a long time in logs only, but recent changes in regulation by the government have increased prices for wood exploitation and give thus incentives to process wood in Suriname rather than to just export logs.

Trees in Suriname

Trees in Suriname

Despite its large territory and favorable climate, Suriname produces little agricultural produce and is thus far from achieving food sovereignty. The most fertile areas are found on the coastal plains, particularly in the West around Nickerie. Rice is the dominant crop followed by bananas as well as other perennial and semi- perennial crops (palm oil, sugar, citrus fruits, etc). Use of pesticides and fertilizers is not regulated. In Nickerie I have been told about huge amounts of pesticides and herbicides sprayed on the fields, making it impossible to grow any other vegetables in the vicinity.

One of many, many rice paddies in Nickerie, Western Suriname

One of many, many rice paddies in Nickerie, Western Suriname

Urban Planning and Transport in Suriname: Quo vadis, Suriname?

  • Paramaribo is a city of about 250.000 people. Despite its relative small number of citizens, the number of cars driving around is quite astonishing. It is absolutely no exception that families in Paramaribo have several cars. From 2005 to 2009 more than 54.000 new cars joined the roads of Paramaribo. The result is, of course, traffic jams especially during rush hours, as well as air pollution from exhaust fumes.
  • Although Suriname has a public transport system (with state-owned as well as privately run buses) that are quite affordable (the public buses are subsidized and are really cheap), an increased offer and quality of public transport systems could surely bring down the number of cars driving through Paramaribo each day.
One of the many public buses running through  Paramaribo and its outskirts

One of the many public buses running through Paramaribo and its outskirts

  • Cyclists and pedestriants are hardly seen in town (apart from some Dutch tourists and interns who do no give up their habits from back home) – no wonder, since cycle paths do not exist and cars drive dangerously close to both pedestrians and cyclists.
That's me on a bike in Paramaribo

That’s me on a bike in Paramaribo (on a typical Dutch bicycle, so don’t wonder why there’s no break!)

  • As mentioned before, flooding is a serious problem for many parts in Suriname. Since drainage systems are insufficient, any major rainfall will cause water levels on the streets to rise substantially.
Road completely flooded after a heavy rainfall in Paramaribo.

Road completely flooded after a heavy rainfall in Paramaribo.

 

A more serious urban planning and execution of recommendations will be needed if the country wants to ensure citizens‘ well-being and efficient transport systems!

Suriname’s waste management: is landfilling all Suriname can do about waste?

Let’s start with the bad news:  Suriname does not possess any specific policy or laws regarding waste collection, treatment and management in general. Only certain rules and regulations have been put in place by the ministry of labor and the environment. Waste separation or recycling are almost nonexistent (see below).

The grand majority of urban solid waste from Paramaribo, Warnica, Para and Commewijne is simply collected by private companies and is then dumped and covered at the sole official landfill (Ornamibo landfill) south of Paramaribo. Ornamibo landfill was opened in 1999 as a temporary solution for waste disposal, but has since become the permanent landfill of Greater Paramaribo. It is operated by the Ministry of Public Works. Because of the increasing urbanization in and around Paramaribo, more and more houses have been built in the vicinity of the landfill. Recently, protests by neighbors of the landfill have risen in intensity – supported by some political support of the opposition parties – because of unresolved property right issues as well as the unpleasant smell coming from the landfill. Ground water and air pollution are, for sure, issues at Ornamibo landfill. The government has called for tenders to improve the landfill’s sanitation and to respect public health and environmental standards. Also, transformation of waste into energy is considered an option.

Private households do not pay for collection or treatment of waste (which is paid for by the government). Households or industries thus have no incentives to reduce the amount of waste they produce.

Littering and illegal dump sites are also an issue: 

Dumpsite I saw at Brownsberg Nature Park

Dumpsite I saw at Brownsberg Nature Park 😦

Recycling in Suriname:

Unlike other South American countries (e.g. Brazil), the private sector is only modestly involved in the recycling activities in Suriname (while the government is not involved in recycling at all!). While recycling industry in Suriname started about 5 to 7 years ago when world market prices for plastics were high, the handful of small recycling companies then created stopped their activities when market prices experienced a major setback about 2 to 3 years ago. So, today, this leaves actually only one company (AmReCo) as the sole recycling company for plastic, cardboard and paper. As of today, about 2 to 3 tons of plastic and cardboard/paper respectively are treated per day: AmReCo reduces the PET bottles in size and then exports the material to China.

Plastic bottles collected at  Samarja Foundation, that will then be recycled by AmReCo.

Plastic bottles collected at Samarja Foundation, that will then be recycled by AmReCo.

Although the government used to subsidize parts of the PET bottle collection carried out by AmReCo, this financial support was stopped. Since then the total volume of collected plastic bottles has reduced drastically. The lack of public subsidies is clearly pulling a break on the sector’s development. In other countries, as mentioned above, hundreds of individual collectors make money by collecting and then selling aluminum cans or plastic bottles to private-owned recycling plants. Unfortunately, no such incentives exist in Suriname.

The major actors in the recycling scene in Suriname would thus be: AmReCo (processing of plastics, cardboard, paper and export), Stichting Suwama (education and collection) and Stichting Samarja (education).

Encouraging people to recycle plastic bottles (Suwama foundation)

Encouraging people to recycle plastic bottles (Suwama foundation)

To learn more about those organizations’ work on recycling in Suriname, read one of my next blog entries (coming up soon)!

Suriname’s energy system: what are the main issues?

Here come some facts and opinions of mine on the current state of the Surinamese energy system and how to increase its sustainability:

Current energy mix:

  • Amongst the Caribbean countries, Suriname has the lowest reliance upon fossil fuels for electricity generation.
  • Energy demand: from 1970 to 2009 the peak load increased from 22MW to 170MW (and is expected to rise to about 250 MW by 2015), with Greater Paramaribo and the mining sector (gold, oil and bauxite) being the biggest energy demanders.
    Energy demand is estimated to grow between 8 to 10 % per year (quite an enormous number!).
  • The most significant source of electricity is hydro-electricity, which is supplying more than half of the country’s electricity generation requirements.
  • The electricity grid connected to the Afobaka hydro dam expands to Paramaribo and its surrounding coastal districts (Wanica, Commewijne and the communities between Afobakka and Paramaribo). The other districts (such as Nickerie, Albina, etc. as well as the villages in the interior) generate energy via thermal power plants or smaller generators supplied with diesel. EBS and the State Oil Company of Suriname also operate several thermal power plants in Paramaribo, to meet the gap between the demand and electricity produced by the hydro-dam.
  • Oil is becoming a more and more important domestic source of energy as the State Oil Company is not only exploring oil on-shore, but is looking into offshore-explorations, too. The State Oil Company is also currently constructing a second oil Off-shore drilling (especially in the deep sea at several kilometers depth) will come with new environmental risks.

Energy Access:

About 40,000 people live in the interior of the country. The Rural Electrification Department (Dienst ElektriciteitsVoorziening, DEV) of the Ministry of Natural Resources is currently providing and maintaining standalone diesel generator sets in the capacity range of 10 to 60 kW for about 130 villages. The diesel is sent on a monthly basis by boat to these villages, that do not pay for any of those services. Nevertheless, electricity is then only provided for 4 to 6 hours per day during night time (from 6pm onwards). During day time few people use small solar panels and batteries (bought on their own initiative). For cooking, most people in the interior of Suriname still rely on wood. A pilot solar energy plant has been installed in Gunsi village on the Suriname River in 2013/2014.

Some people in the interior install their own solar systems on their houses so to have electricity also during day time.

Some people in the interior install their own solar systems on their houses so to have electricity also during day time.

Energy efficiency:

No national energy efficiency measures or programs have been put in place as of now, although huge potentials exist not only in the area of (public and private) lighting, but especially in cooling (air-conditioning!), in the power generation chain as well as to improve car efficiency. No green building code exists, which would certainly help to inspire low-consumption houses, office buildings, etc., thus reducing the need in air-conditioning significantly.

As a matter of fact, energy efficiency has been a constantly ignored topic on the energy agenda in Suriname.

Energy Pricing:

Energy is extremely cheap in Suriname. Electricity only costs about 14 dollar cents per kWh (only for people in the cities; people in the interior do not pay for the electricity provided by the government at night). Although it has been discussed for years, the government is still reluctant to raise electricity prices in fear of losing their voters’ support. Nevertheless, the current pricing scheme does not give any incentive to reduce energy consumption or to invest in energy efficiency measures.

Renewable energies:

Hydropower

  • Hydro-electricity counts for a majority of the country’s electricity production (see above) and is also the least expensive. It is provided by the Afobaka hydro plant at the Brokopondo lake (an artificial lake of 1550 square kilometers, created in 1963, originally as power source for the bauxite company SURALCO). The Afobaka hydro plant has 189MW installed power, but only 105-110MW is currently used, because water flow is insufficient to use the installed capacity. Actually, the Afobaka is one of the most inefficient hydro dams of the world (comparing the lake’s surface with electricity output)!
Brokopondo Lake (view from Brownsberg Nature Park)

Brokopondo Lake (view from Brownsberg Nature Park)

  • About 5000 people were displaced by the dam, particularly Maroon people. This created some tensions between the different groups of Maroons, since their
  • Environmentally speaking, the dam has contributed to the emission of large volumes of greenhouse gases due to Methane emissions caused by the decomposition of plant material that was left in the lake (particularly trees). Further, the fragmentation of the Suriname River altered the natural flow patterns of water, sediments and nutrients. After the closure of the dam, fish communities were found to have decreased in number of species, diversity and changed in distribution (Source: WWF Living Guianas Report 2012).
  • The government has been exploring options for a second hydro-dam, either in the East (Tapajai project) or West (Kabalebo project). If the government will indeed realize one of these projects, in-depth social and environmental impact assessments will have to be carried out and civil society groups as well as local populations better to be involved.
  • Besides large-scale hydro projects, also mini and piko-hydro projects are possible options for energy supply in the interior: run-of-the-river systems have and are still tested by the University of Suriname.
Suriname River and its many rapids

Suriname River and its many rapids – potentially suitable for run-of-the-river mini-hydro systems?

Solar

  • Despite the enormous solar radiation and potential for solar energy in Suriname, no medium- or large-scale solar projects (neither PV nor solar thermal) have been installed in Suriname yet. Some projects have been carried out in the interior (for example, in Kwamala Samatu), but failed due to lack of community ownership and participation resulting in poor maintenance of the equipment. Nevertheless, as long as the villages in the interior will not be connected to the national grid, solar will remain the cheapest and cleanest option for electricity supply in the interior!

    Solar power panel in Pikin Slee village on the Suriname River

    Solar power panel in Pikin Slee village on the Suriname River

Biomass

  • The country possesses a lot of biomass resources it has not been making any use of. Two of them are particularly to be named: (1) forest residues from forestry activities (usually only about 50% of a cut tree is actually used, the rest is “waste”), and (2) rice husk (currently burned in huuuuge amounts just next to the rice mills in the West of the country). Of course, household waste, is also an important source of biomass which is currently just landfilled and not being used.
  • Staatsolie is now also working on an ethanol biofuel project in Wageningen (Western Suriname) made from sugarcane.

Wind

  • Several tests have been carried out, but so far wind energy is not considered a feasible energy source for Suriname due to too many fluctuations in wind speed (wind can blow very powerful, but not regularly enough).

Main actors:

  • EBS (Energie Bedrijven Suriname/Energy Company Suriname, nvebs.com), a state-owned company with a monopoly on electricity distribution to the general public (which it mostly buys from SURALCO’s hydroelectric plant). EBS also owns thermal power plants.
  • State Oil Company of Suriname (Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname N.V., staatsolie.com), a limited liability company with the Suriname State as its sole shareholder. Staatsolie explores for, produces and refines crude oil, on-shore and with possible off-shore activities in the future.
  • Suralco (Suriname Aluminum Company, alcoa.com/suriname). Around 1963, Suralco built a dam creating a reservoir for a hydropower production plant with a maximum capacity of 185 MW. The electricity is used by the Suralco aluminium factory located 70 kilometres north of the lake Brokopondo. Currently 65 MW of produced electricity is transported to Paramaribo to support the demand that cannot be supplied by the EBS.
  • DEV, the Electrification Supply Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources, is responsible for energy supply in the interior.

 

Some reflections on the sustainability of Suriname’s energy system:

One of the major drawbacks that hinder improvements in the sustainability of Suriname’s energy sector, is that the country does not have any energy legislation (i.e. policies, laws, …). It lacks a long-term strategy and planning on how the government envisions the country’s long-term energy (and economic) development. Without such vision and strategy, the government is actually only following the advice and demands of the big power operators (EBS, Staatsolie and Suralco), and is putting in place ad-hoc decisions that do often benefit neither people nor the environment on the long-run (an example for this is the recent decision by the Government to install additional thermal power plant capacities instead of working on a renewable energy plan). Once such a strategy would be in place, public authorities would have to be strengthened in order to be able to enforce those regulations.

Although the Government of Suriname has been assisted by a number of international donors (such as Inter-American Development Bank, CARICOM Energy Program, OLADE, ECLAC, German Development Aid, and others) in developing an energy law, act and policies, no real results have been achieved so far. Let’s hope that they will soon be ready!

Further, the country would clearly benefit by opening up and decentralizing the energy market, especially when it comes to renewable energy systems. Financial and fiscal incentives could help to engage citizens and companies in setting up their own solar home systems, for example. This would create opportunities for small-scale renewable energy vendors, which could be coupled with micro-loans for lower income groups).

The huge potentials of the sun over Suriname remain yet to be harnessed.

The huge potentials of the sun over Suriname remain yet to be harnessed.

Sources and further reading:

SURINAME’S MAJOR SOCIO-ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

Here come the top three socio-environmental issues in Suriname (based on my personal observations, readings and interviews):

(I will get in more depth on each topic in the following posts)

(1) Gold mining (especially small-scale artisanal gold-mining)

(2) Energy

(3) Urban planning

  • land use changes and biodiversity loss (due to deforestation, hunting, …)
  • pollution of waterways due to mercury use and sedimentation
  • public health (mercury and cyanide intoxication)
  • prostitution, human trafficking, violence

Degraded area after small-scale mining operations (Source: WWF Guianas)

Degraded area after small-scale mining operations (Source: WWF Guianas)

  • renewable energies
  • energy efficiency
  • energy access for remote communities in the interior
  • need for real energy strategy, development plan, policies, fiscal incentives, need for more private sector involvement, etc.

One of the thermal power plants operated by EBS in cenral Paramaribo (very noisy, I can tell you!)

One of the thermal power plants operated by EBS in central Paramaribo (very noisy, I can tell you!)

  • public transport
  • flood prevention and sea level rise adaptation
  • sewage systems and waste water management
  • urban solid waste management
  • green space
Dumpsite I saw at Brownsberg Nature Park

Dumpsite I saw at Brownsberg Nature Park 😦