Country

Suriname

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Suriname.

Adaptation

Suriname's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution report indicates an internal conflict within the country: to either invest heavily in adaptation, or relocate its at-risk population inland, away from the rising sea levels, which would potentially stress forest resources. Work has commenced in integrating climate resilience in infrastructure programs and the social and productive sectors such as in agriculture, coastal zone, education, energy, environment, LULUCF/forestry, transport, water, health, and tourism. The total estimated cost for adaptation is USD $1 billion to 2025.

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • To adapt to reduced productivity:
    • Research, capacity building, and technological improvement.
    • Cultivation methods that prevent soil loss, such as the “no till” method.
    • Re-cultivate abandoned agricultural land.
    • Manage weather-driven pests.
  • To adapt to reduced water availability due to drought, high evaporation rates and lower annual rainfall:
    • Efficient irrigation.
    • Adopt water-saving technologies and methods such as drip-irrigation.
    • Construct an emergency network of agricultural irrigation pipes and pumps connected to reliable water resources such as nearby larger freshwater rivers or controlled reservoirs.
    • Establish artificial lakes in the interior.
  • To adapt to reduction or damage of existing agriculture land:
    • Relocate agricultural production to less weather vulnerable areas.
  • To adapt to damage to crops due to possible strong winds, extreme rainfall, severe drought and/or sea level rise:
    • Establish an insurance fund to cover damages and losses to crops from weather events. This will provide compensation to farmers.
    • Establish and/or maintain efficient irrigation and drainage systems.
    • Plant hedgerow trees to protect crops from strong winds.
    • Establish early warning systems.
  • To adapt to changes in crop growing season:
    • Change farming systems, construct greenhouses and/or hydroponic systems.
    • Increase existing uses of alternative crop varieties.
    • Introduce other new, more resilient crop varieties.
  • To adapt to salinization of fertile land due to sea level rise:
    • Construct dikes in low-lying areas.
  • To adapt to reduced aquaculture, fisheries and livestock productivity:  
    • Introduce/improve climate control-systems in livestock farming.
    • Adapt pasture lands to changing climatic conditions.
    • Introduce alternative, more resilient livestock breeds.
    • Establish funding to promote aquaculture.
    • Protect fish breeding waters (mangroves, coastal wetlands, salt pans).
    • Relocate cattle from vulnerable coastal areas to higher ground.
  • Increase access to climate finance:
    • Establish focal point for attraction of funding sources for sustainable forest management.
    • Assess options to access climate finance through United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change mechanisms and other related funding avenues financing carbon sequestration by forest.
  • Improve forest management:
    • Provide fiscal incentives for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM); disbursement of financial compensation for forest stakeholders that engage in activities that protect forests and utilize forests sustainably.
    • Continue to provide training on Reduced Impact Logging (RIL).
    • Implement forest resources management program.
  • Effective forest policy:
    • Review and update Forest Management Act to include climate change considerations.
    • Incorporate climate resilience and mitigation in forestry through the development and implementation of law, policy and regulation.
  • Improve information and awareness:
    • Conduct analyses on past climate impacts on forests and sustainable forest management.
    • Conduct research on SFM options.
    • Perform awareness raising activities regarding the role of forest conservation, restoration and sustainable use of forests in climate change mitigation.
    • Awareness raising, training and education with a focus on SFM.
  • Increase protected area:
    • Designation of additional protected zones/ reserves.
  • Water Infrastructure:
    • Assess vulnerabilities and risk from climate change and develop climate-resilient infrastructure.
    • Upgrade infrastructure for water supply, irrigation, drainage and flood protection and develop and implement leakage management, including mains rehabilitation, to reduce water leakage from distribution and supply networks.
    • Develop, implement, and monitor drinking water storage mechanisms for use in times of drought and flooding.
  • Policy:
    • Develop and implement law, policy and regulations to ensure sustainable exploitation and use of drinking water resources.
    • Robust land management and waste management policies to reduce the discharge of pollutants including sediments, sewage, agro-chemicals and mining pollutants into water systems, and to protect aquifers from surface contamination.
    • Review and amend draft legislation to ensure that climate change is taken into account.
  • Information and awareness:
    • Feasibility studies to explore the possibility of additional groundwater projects, as well as alternative freshwater resources to buffer the effects of saltwater intrusion.
    • Awareness raising program on the impacts of climate change on water resources and management of these impacts.
  • Integral Projects and Approaches:
    • Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) that facilitates a participatory approach to decision making involving different user groups. This will allow for more equitable management of water resources.
    • Develop pilot projects to assess artificial recharge of aquifers.
    •  Implement waste water recycling schemes.
  • Assess the vulnerability of Suriname’s energy systems, especially in the case of renewable energy sources which depend on climate and priority coastal infrastructure such as power plants.
  • Conduct further research on climate change and the energy-water nexus, given Suriname’s dependency on hydro power and abundant water resources.
  • Promote and raise awareness of energy efficiency and conservation.
  • Improve technologies and resilient building designs of coastal energy infrastructure.
  • Fiscal incentives; tax breaks for alternative renewable energy investment, and removal of electricity/energy subsidies, in order to encourage the purchase or generation of non-hydropower based renewable energy.
  • Implement renewable energy projects, such as the construction of mini and micro-hydropower stations and solar energy accommodations where feasible.
  • Continue exploration of the TapaJai project, a potential new hydro power plant in the interior which could contribute to energy security.
  • Develop and implement law, policy and regulation to integrate climate resilience into mining operations.
    • Update Mining Decree and standards considering climate change.
    • Include standards for energy efficiency and reforestation of mined out areas in all mineral agreements with national mining companies and small scale mining operations.
  • Raise awareness on how climate change will impact mining activities and how to manage climate impacts.
    • Develop and implement awareness raising programs to promote climate resilient, low emission and sustainable mining practices, such as the closure of pits after mining.
  • Build capacity for climate resilient and low emissions mining techniques.
    • Conduct high level analysis on past climate impacts on Suriname’s mining sector (small and large scale) and modelling of future risks (e.g. impacts on infrastructure, operations, labor, etc.).
  • Improve climate resiliency of mining infrastructure.
    • Conduct high level analysis on past climate impacts on Suriname’s mining sector (small and large scale) and modelling of future risks (e.g. impacts on infrastructure, operations, labor, etc.).

Gaps and Needs

  • Both the First National Communication and Second National Communication mention little about current and projected patterns of human adaptation to climate change. Such analysis needs to be preceded by a collection of a higher level of socio-economic data.
  • Research results on potential die-off of the forest in the interior are unavailable. To evaluate the risk of climate change on these forests, human resources accompanied by the appropriate technology is needed to gather data in nearly inaccessible forest areas.
  • Further research on climate change and the energy-water nexus needs to be conducted, given Suriname’s abundant water resources and the country’s reliance on hydro power.
  • There is no evidence of implementation of the 2007 National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP).
  • The current legislative environment does not adequately support climate change governance and it is unable to address implementation problems in an efficient way order to reduce climate-change risk. For example, there are no laws or regulations that protect mangrove forests outside of established protected areas or that establish protected forests; there is no zoning of coastal areas and there are few restrictions on coastal development.
  • There are no laws that specifically address climate change issues; sectoral laws are fragmented and do not address climate change, and there is no standalone climate change law.
  • The Environmental Framework Act, which details a number of key provisions which would support climate resilient development, has been prepared since 2001 but has not yet been formally approved.
  • The current institutional framework for climate change governance in Suriname is fragmented with responsibilities shared between stakeholders. Sometimes overlaps occur creating tensions between entities. It is advisable that an in-depth institutional assessment be conducted to further clarify mandates and responsibilities.
  • Necessary legislation on land use planning has never been implemented.
  • Lack of an adequate water policy and an umbrella law that regulates integrated water resources management.
  • Knowledge of climate change risk across Suriname’s sectors is very limited due to limited knowledge of the likelihood of future climatic events (particularly in the near term), the rate and scale of slow-onset changes, and the magnitude of their consequences. This is an important area for further research.
  • There are significant data and information gaps on social, environmental and economic baselines, climate science, vulnerability, impacts and risk management. This is particularly the case with respect to the interior districts of Suriname. As such, a comprehensive national research programme is recommended in the NCCPSPAP programmes and actions.
  • Awareness of climate change impacts and low carbon emission development opportunities across Suriname is limited.
  • No information is available on the frequency of local gales / sibibusi events. Sibibusis and strong variations in rainfall have not been consistently observed and therefore no analyses have been produced.
  • A clear description of the current climate is unavailable due to a lack of data and poor observation networks.
  • Lack of data on the new and proposed mega-projects for power generation prevents experts from making an accurate projection of energy use involved, and subsequently from coming up with a comprehensive plan for adaptation in the energy sector.
  • Data availability for water resources is constrained by lack of financial, instrumental and human capital for proper ongoing inventories, limited governmental support, and lack of human capital at field stations for observations. This is considered an important gap required to adapt to the impacts of climate change.