Bente van der Wilt
02 april 2020

Better protection for nature in Suriname

It’s official: Suriname has a new environmental law. After a thorough process where all relevant stakeholders were involved, the National Assembly (DNA) of the Republic of Suriname unanimously passed the legislation on March 27th. This ‘Milieu Raamwet’ takes a historically significant step towards safeguarding natural ecosystems of Suriname and the Guianas.

Suriname is one of the greenest countries in the world. With yet 93% of the country covered in forests, it houses an abundance of wildlife, trees and plants. By seeking a balance between economic development and protecting the environment, the law paves the way to create legally binding environmental targets and improved policies. An instrument for the government to enforce measures when needed.

“This is the right step for Suriname. The Milieu Raamwet helps the Surinamese People to better conserve and sustainable manage the way in which they relate with the natural environment,” said Dr David Singh, Director for WWF-Guianas.

All stakeholders involved

The new law for environmental protection has been established after intensive lobby and consultation efforts, supported by WWF Guianas through the SRJS programme. All relevant stakeholders were involved, including indigenous peoples from deep in the interior, governments, businesses and nature organisations. They jointly identified what should be contained in the Milieu Raamwet. Since the parliament is now on recess for the upcoming elections, timing was crucial. The result is a widely supported law that will serve as a solid basis for a sustainable and green future in Suriname.

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About SRJS

With SRJS, we support and strengthen local NGOs and civil society organisations in 16 countries, so that we can safeguard water supply, climate resilience and food security together with governments and companies. We also ensure that these organisations work together to become stronger.

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