Coronie Freshwater Swamp

Coronie Freshwater Swamp

Coronie Freshwater Swamp Protected Area

The Coronie fresh water swamp is a natural freshwater reservoir in the coastal area of Suriname with an area of approximately 250,000 hectares.
The Coronie swamp represents a complex variety of services: conservation of biodiversity and habitat for many species, regulation of the hydro cycle (stores, filters and release water in a way that can be handled by the adjacent systems), is a carbon sink (forest carbon and soil carbon (peat layers of more than 4m).

The goal of this project is to establish and sustainably manage the “Coronie Freshwater Swamp”.
This will protect a significant portion of Suriname’s most critical wetlands, freshwater resources, secure regulation of the hydro cycle, ensure sustainable economic utilization for irrigation purposes and conserve renewable natural capital and ecosystem services, such as food, water, climate resiliency, disaster risk management, and sustainable tourism.

It is a large tributary of fresh water to mainly three areas, the Nickerie River (west), the Coronie, and Wageningen area (northern) and the Coppename River (east).
It therefore contributes to at least two river basins. Unlike many river and swamp ecosystems, relatively little is known about the Coronie freshwater swamp.  
Water quality measurements showed that the water is very clean. When humans continue to act responsibly these services can be maintained and the swamp can even sustain economic utilization for irrigation purposes, and become a tourism destination. The Coronie Swamp is also important for the different migratory bird species and has the potential to be listed as an RAMSAR site.

Key activities and deliverables:

  1. Stakeholder engagement
    Establish a process to obtain the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) from the GoS and local people for the creation of the Coronie Swamp Reserve which will contribute to a significant portion (approximately 2500 square km) of Suriname’s freshwater and critical wetlands. Consultations, meetings and workshops with (local) stakeholders on the importance and value of the Coronie swamp and the urgency to safeguard the functions of the Coronie swamp.           

  2. Communication strategy and products of the FPIC process and for promotion of the importance of the Coronie swamp nationally and internationally.           

  3. Complete desktop review on available biodiversity and ecosystem services data of Coronie swamp to identify data gaps for valuation of Coronie swamp and creation of Coronie Swamp Reserve.      
    Report detailing:
    a) an assessment on potential threats such as existing oil exploration concessions in the area which could have impacts on the biodiversity and ecosystem services
    b) initial recommendations for an effective design of a protected area so that the proposed protected area can be effectively designed with stakeholders.   

  4. Set up of management structure
    Establishment of an advisory committee, including community leaders and other key stakeholders that will oversee the design and subsequent creation of the protected area.
    Present a collaboratively-designed proposed framework for integrated management and legal process for the creation of the proposed Coronie Swamp reserve.

  5. Legal analysis report on options for legal designation of proposed reserve.     
    Finalize plan on community-based monitoring and research activities within and surrounding the proposed protected area and initiation of these activities.     

  6. Financial feasibility study
    Report on financial feasibility study, including potential structures for finance mechanisms

  7. Evaluation of RAMSAR site
    Criteria for proposing Coronie swamp as a second RAMSAR site in Suriname identified and listed.



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