The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $1.52 million grant to restore and conserve mangroves in Suriname's Bigi Pan Multiple Use Management Area (MUMA) and promote sustainable livelihoods for local communities. This project, implemented with resources from the UK Blue Carbon Fund from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), will be led by the esteemed Anton de Kom University of Suriname (AdeKUS).
The project is the latest installment in a series of blue carbon projects in Latin America and the Caribbean implemented by the IDB with funds through its UK's Blue Carbon Fund. Previous efforts include Panama, Jamaica, Colombia and a regional reporting project.
The project's primary objective is to restore and conserve 1,200 hectares and protect 2,200 hectares of mangrove forests using nature-based solutions. Innovative strategies include the installation of sediment trapping units, the establishment of bamboo/walaba sustainable harvesting incentive programs, and the implementation of sustainable livelihood programs for mangrove conservation. These efforts will have far-reaching positive impacts on the biological, hydrological, topographical, and geomorphological attributes of the region while significantly enhancing the economic value and biodiversity richness of the mangroves.
Acknowledging the importance of collaboration, the initiative will engage relevant governmental entities, civil society, and private sector entities in Suriname through workshops aimed at strengthening institutional capacities in mangrove governance, environmental awareness, natural resource management, climate change resilience, and institutional governance. Furthermore, a knowledge platform will be developed to disseminate project results, ensuring the active engagement of the local population and the Government regarding the restoration program's activities.
Professor Sieuwnath Naipal of the Anton de Kom University of Suriname, emphasized the significance of this grant to improve knowledge and project preparations stating, "This initiative of the IDB and AdeKUS should be seen as the necessary support to make a real change." Their expertise and dedication will undoubtedly contribute to the success of this transformative endeavor.
Highlighting the urgent need for mangrove restoration, Adriana La Valley, the IDB Country Representative, stated, "With more than 90% of the population and economic activities located along the low-lying coastal strip, mangroves play an important role against waves, storms, erosion, and sea-level rise. Unfortunately, these precious resources are in trouble." The IDB remains committed to addressing these challenges and safeguarding the environment for the benefit of Suriname's communities.
The IDB eagerly anticipates a productive collaboration with the AdeKUS and other stakeholders, ensuring the successful implementation of this vital grant. This project marks a significant milestone for Suriname, reflecting its unwavering commitment to restore and conserve mangrove forests, protect the environment, and promote sustainable livelihoods for local communities. Mangroves, with their exceptional carbon sequestration capacity, hold tremendous potential in mitigating and also helping to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
About the IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public- and private-sector clients throughout the region. Take our virtual tour.
About Anton de Kom University of Suriname
The Anton de Kom University of Suriname (AdeKUS) is a prestigious institution dedicated to sustainable development through high-quality academic education, research, and service. As Suriname's leading university, AdeKUS shares scientific knowledge, promotes research, and offers services with the primary goal of societal development. AdeKUS strives to create a dynamic, inspiring, and academic environment that fosters excellent research and delivers highly qualified academic professionals for national and regional development. The core values of AdeKUS include expertise, professionalism, integrity, result-oriented collaboration, rationalism, transparency, commitment, efficiency, planning, sustainability, and providing an inspiring and inclusive learning and working environment.