Conservation International Suriname is focused on supporting national policy for green economic development by supporting land use planning and demonstrating the value of ecosystem services in Suriname. Our motto is that 'people need nature to thrive' and using science-based knowledge we try to improve policy and increase awareness to help sustainably manage our natural resources.
South Suriname: Undisturbed tropical forest
One of our key focus areas is the south of Suriname, this area is home to much of the country's biodiversity, and is often described as one of the last blocks of undisturbed tropical forest on Earth. CI-Suriname has been working with communities from five villages in South Suriname to create maps of nearby ecosystems services, areas essential to their well-being. The maps are an important tool for stimulating dialogue between the villages and decision makers.
We are also undertaking biodiversity expeditions in this remote area to gain more information on types of unique plants and animals found in this region. This is all part of the South Suriname project which is being carried out with support from the Harbers Family Foundation. The goal of the project is to protect the natural capital of this area, which will help to encourage sustainable management and support ecosystem services critical not only for Suriname, but also for the wider region and the world.
The Guiana Shield: Climate Change and Avoiding Deforestation
Suriname is part of the Guiana Shield, which covers 270 million hectares (667 million acres) and encompasses all of Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana and associated ecosystems in Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia. This region is the largest remaining block of primary tropical forest on Earth and has the potential to play a critical role in mitigating climate change. Not only do the Guiana Shield’s tropical forests play a critical role in mitigating the dangerous impacts of climate change, it also accounts for around 10 – 15 percent of world's freshwater reserves.
CI-Suriname has been carrying out part of a regional climate change and avoided deforestation project funded by the German development bank KfW since late 2009. In Suriname, the emphasis of this project lies on support for the Government of Suriname in its efforts to develop its Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system. This is a key element of REDD+ — an international mechanism to reduce emissions from deforestation, forest degradation and through forest conservation — which the country is currently working towards implementing. Our achievements include producing a forest cover map, a historical deforestation map, and provided training and software in land use planning.