Overall risks from climate-related impacts are evaluated based on the interaction of climate-related hazards (including hazardous events and trends) with the vulnerability of communities (susceptibility to harm and lack of capacity to adapt), and exposure of human and natural systems. Changes in both the climate system and socioeconomic processes -including adaptation and mitigation actions- are drivers of hazards, exposure, and vulnerability (IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, 2014).

Suriname is at risk to several natural hazards, including hurricanes and storms, floods, and droughts.

This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. It allows for a quick assessment of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.

Natural Hazard Statistics

The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.


Climate change is now recognized to have a significant impact on disaster management efforts and pose a significant threat to the efforts to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable populations. The demands of disaster risk management are such that concise, clear, and reliable information is crucial. The information presented here offers insight into the frequency, impact and occurrence of natural hazards.

Natural Hazard / Development Nexus

Understanding natural hazard occurrence as well as historical climate conditions, in relation to development contexts, is critical to understanding a country’s historical vulnerability. This tool allows the visualization of different natural hazards or historical climate conditions with socio-economic and development datasets. Select the Development Context and either a Natural Hazard or Climate Condition and overlay horizontally by sliding the toggle left or right to gain a broader sense of historically vulnerable areas.



Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals. 

This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.

Key Vulnerabilities
  • While Suriname lies outside the hurricane belt, the country’s weather is occasionally affected by the tails of hurricanes. Of concern is an increase in sibibusis, local storm events characterized by heavy rain and bursts of strong, localized rotating wind. These events have resulted in flooding, salt water intrusion and landslides. Local gales occur before storms, generally at the end of the rainy seasons and can reach maximum wind speeds of 20-30 m/s. Such gales occur over the entire country and may destroy trees and houses.
  • Flooding is largely associated with sibibusi events. Storm surge and intense rainfall have caused severe flooding of roads in the coastal capital and in the interior and resulted in evacuation, deaths and health impacts including an outbreak of water-borne and vector-borne diseases.
  • Droughts are typically associated with El Niño events. Climate change projections indicate that annual rainfall totals may decrease and temperatures will increase, therefore drought conditions may become more common yet equally difficult to predict.

More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.

  • The energy sector may face challenges such as damage to coastal energy infrastructure caused by flooding and sea level rise. Climate change will also likely result in the use of more energy to cool thermal power plants and a reduced volume of river water for cooling and for hydropower generation. These challenges will need to be considered in energy sector planning.
  • The water sourced from Suriname’s rivers connects the energy, agriculture and water sectors. The Afobaka hydropower (energy generation) facility regulates water supply to the rivers. The agricultural sector relies on a strong and reliable downstream river flow for irrigation and the avoidance of salt water intrusion and the state water company SWM relies in part on river water as a source of potable drinking water.
  • The interdependence of different sectors, connected by Suriname’s river resources, will require coordination across and within government ministries and other key stakeholder organizations to manage issues relating to water resources in the context of a changing climate.
  • Suriname’s water distribution systems are aged and poorly maintained resulting in leakages, which in different ministries and organizations turn leads to pump breakdowns, low pressure, intermittent supply, and a high potential for contamination. Updating and replacement of these systems will be required to ensure water security in the face of high evaporation rates and reduced rainfall. This should be preceded by an assessment to identify priority areas.
  • Early warning systems will be needed to reduce economic, social and environmental losses in both the interior and coastal zone. Actions for implementation are already underway according to Suriname’s National Climate Change Policy, Strategy and Action Plan.
  • Climate baselines will need to be established and past impacts of climate events assessed in order to make predictions for future impacts of climatic changes on the country’s sectors and resources. Impact assessment studies as well as research into past Sibibusi trends and the relationship with regional climatic events and climate change will need to be conducted.