National Report of Suriname for COP7

National Report prepared for the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

 Implementation of the Ramsar Convention in general, and of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 1997-2002 in particular, during the period since the National Report was prepared in 1995 for Ramsar COP6

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Contracting Party The Republic of Suriname
Designated Ramsar Administrative Authority .
Full name of the institution Head of the Surinam Forest Servic
Name and title of the head of the institution Drs. Carlo R. Julen, Head, Surinam Forest Service
Mailing address for the head of the institution Cornelis Jongbawstreet 10., P.O.Box 436, Paramaribo, Suriname
Telephone (597)471316 or 474346
Fax (597) 410256
E-mail .
Name and title (if different) of the designated contact officer for Ramsar Convention matters Ir. Ferdinand L. J. Baal,  Head of the Nature Conservation Division of the Surinam Forest Service

Mr. Krishnepersad Mohadin, Deputy Head of the Nature Conservation Division.

Mailing address (if different) for the designated contact officer Same as Surinam Forest Service
Telephone (597) 479431
Fax (597) 422555

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 1
To progress towards universal membership of the Convention.

1.1 Describe any actions your government has taken (such as hosting regional or subregional meetings/consultations, working cooperatively with neighbouring countries on transfrontier wetland sites) to encourage others to join the Convention.

From 10-14 Sept. 1997, Suriname hosted a Bi-national Meeting Suriname-Guyana on Protected Areas in the framework of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty. This was, however, not in relation with the Ramsar Convention, but considered bi-national cooperation directly with regard to protected areas, including protected wetland areas, in general.

A concept Memorandum of Understanding concerning mutual cooperation, including wetlands conservation, between the Nature Conservation Division and the Regional Office for Environment in French Guiana awaits the final approval by the French authorities.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 2
To achieve the wise use of wetlands by implementing and further developing the Ramsar Wise Use Guidelines.

2.1 Has a National Wetland Policy/Strategy/Action Plan been developed, or is one being developed or planned for the near future? If so:

No, however, the Nature Protection Law, the Law on Forest Management, the Planning Law, the Laws on Issuing Stata-owned Lands ("Agrarische Wet", the "Decreet L-2 Uitgifte Domeinland"), offer sufficient possibilities to protect and sustainably manage wetlands,

a. What are/will be its main features?

To establish nature reserves, Special Management Areas, Protection Forests, Special Protected Forests, Nature Parks, Multiple-use Management Areas, and provisions for setting rules for a sustainable nt and use.

b. Was it, or is it, intended that the Policy/Strategy/Action Plan be adopted by the whole of Government, the Minister responsible for Ramsar matters or through some other process. Please describe.

The Nature Protection Law, the Law on Forest Management, the Planning Law, and the Laws on Issuing State-owned Lands ("Agrarische Wet" and the "Decreet L-2 Uitgifte Domeinland") are adopted by the whole Government/National Assemblee.

Nature Parks and Multiple-use Management Areas are adopted by the responsible Ministries upon approval by the Board of Ministers.

c. How does it relate/will it relate to other national environmental/ conservation planning initiatives (e.g., National Environmental Action Plans, National Biodiversity Action Plans, National Conservation Strategies)?

The policy/strategy on protected areas are/will be also considered in the broader policies/action plans.

2.2 If a policy is in place, how much progress has been made in its implementation, and what are the major difficulties being encountered in doing so?

Major difficulties are: shortage of qualified personnel, lack of funds and means, in particular transportation means, and above all the low Government salaries hamper the enforcement of the legislation.

2.3 If a Policy/Strategy/Action Plan is in place, is the responsibility for implementing it with :

a. a single Government Ministry,
b. a committee drawn from several Ministries, or
c. a cross-sectoral committee?

Each Law detemines the Ministry and/or institution responsible for the implementation of the Law concerned, and offer possibilities for establishing cross-sectoral committees.

For instance, the Nature Protection Law has put the responsibility for management of the nature reserves in the hands of the Head of the Surinam Forest Service, which establishes or will establish cross-sectoral Consultation Comittees consisting of representatives of the relevant Ministries and local mmunities, for each nature reserve.

2.4 For countries with Federal systems of Government, are there Wetland Policies/Strategies/Plans in place, being developed or planned for the provincial/state or regional levels of Government? Yes/No   If yes, please give details.


2.5 Has a review of legislation and practices which impact on wetlands been carried out, and if so, has this resulted in any changes which assist with implementation of the Ramsar Convention? Please describe these.

No formal review had taken place, although there is a need for amendment of the legislation on protected areas, for instance to have regulations for the several categories of protected areas.

2.6 Describe the efforts made in your country to have wetlands considered in integrated land/water and coastal zone planning and management processes at the following levels:

a. national
b. provincial
c. local

An integrated Management Plan will be developed for each protected area. Four areas already have such a Management Plan.

It is intended to establish Multiple-use Management Areas in the coastal zone, which will combined as one large estuarine MUMA in the future.

2.7 Have there been any publications produced, or practices documented, which could assist other countries to promote and improve the application of the Ramsar Wise Use of Wetlands Guidelines? Yes/No   If Yes, please provide details and copies.


2.8 Noting COP6 Recommendation 6.14 relating to toxic chemicals and pollution, please advise of the actions taken since then "to remedy and to prevent pollution impacts affecting Ramsar sites and other wetlands" (Operative paragraph 9).

Has not been necessary yet. The Management Plans will contain directions with regard to among others discharge of waste water, including drainage from rice fields, spraying by air of chemicals, withdrawal of fresh water (for irrigation).

2.9 Describe what steps have been taken to incorporate wetland economic valuation techniques into natural resource planning and assessment actions.

No steps taken

2.10 Is Environmental Impact Assessment for actions potentially impacting on wetlands required under legislation in your country? Yes/No

No, however, if necessary, an EIA study could be incorporated as requirement in special project approval.

2.11 Is wetland restoration and rehabilitation considered a priority in your country? Yes/No.  If Yes, describe the actions that have been taken to identify wetlands in need of these actions and to mobilise resources for restoration or rehabilitation.


Road construction (in 1965) across the estuarine zone resulted in the destruction of a part of the Bigi Pan Multiple-use Management area in the estuarine zone by blocking the free flow of freshwater into this area. In 1993, at the reconditioning of the road, culverts have been laid under the road for supply of freshwater to that area.

2.12 Describe what actions have been taken to "encourage active and informed participation of local communities, including indigenous people, and in particular women, in the conservation and wise use of wetlands." (refer to Actions 2.7.1-4 in the Strategic Plan).

For each protected area a cross-sectoral committee, consisting of representatives of the relevant Ministries and local communities, including local NGOs and the private sector, will be established to facilitate and promote the sustainable management and wise use of the protected areas.

2.13 Describe what actions have been taken to "encourage involvement of the private sector in the conservation and wise use of wetlands" (refer to Actions 2.8.1-4 in the Strategic Plan). Has this included a review of fiscal measures (taxation arrangements, etc.) to identify and remove disincentives and introduce incentives for wetlands conservation and wise use? Yes/No   If yes, please provide details.

See section 2.12

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 3
To raise awareness of wetland values and functions throughout the world and at all levels

3.1 Is there a government-run national programme for Education and Public Awareness in your country which focuses on, or includes, wetlands? Yes/No?   If yes, what are the priority actions under this programme and who are the target groups? (Refer also to question 9.4)


The Nature Conservation Education Section of the Nature Conservation Division has an Education and Public Awareness Program, including wetlands conservation. The program consists of among others film/slide shows, lectures, production of brochures and leaflets, mobile education unit.

The main target group is schoolchildren in particular, and intending teachers and public in general.

3.2 Describe the steps taken to have wetlands issues and Ramsar’s Wise Use principles included as part of the curricula of educational institutions. Has this been at all levels of education (primary, secondary, tertiary and adult)? Please give details.

The Education Section works close together with the Environment Education Section of the Ministry of Education with regard in particular to school visits.

The Natural Technology Faculty of the University of Suriname offers the possibility to choose for the Aquatic Natural Resources Orientation.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 4
To reinforce the capacity of institutions in each Contracting Party to achieve conservation and wise use of wetlands.

4.1 Describe the mechanisms in place, or being introduced, to increase cooperation between the various institutions responsible for actions which can have an impact on the conservation and wise use of wetlands. If one of the mechanisms is a National Ramsar/Wetlands Committee, please describe its composition, functions and modus operandi.

Consultation Committees dealing with MUMAs in the estuarine zone could become the National Ramsar Committee in the future.

Consultation Commitees will have a Housekeeping Regulation.

4.2 Of the following, indicate which have been undertaken:

a. a review to identify the training needs of institutions and individuals concerned with the conservation and wise use of wetlands Yes/No? If yes, please indicate the major findings of the review.

Yes, but only for reserve managers/game wardens of the Nature Conservation Division.

b. a review to identify training opportunities for these people both within your country and in other countries. Yes/No?

Yes, for the reserve managers/game wardens in Trinidad and Tobago.

c. the development of training modules or a training programme specifically for wetland managers. If yes, please give details.


d. people from your country have gained wetland-related training either within or outside the country. Yes/No? If yes, please give details.


- International Seminar on Coastal Parks and Protected areas, May 13-June 3, 1989, Miami, Florida and Yucatan, Mexico

- Seminar on the Conservation of wetlands in the Caribbean Region of the Ramsar Convention, Sinnamary, French Guiana, 25 April-2 May 1993.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 5
To ensure the conservation of all sites included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar List).

5.1 Of the Ramsar sites in your country, how many have formal management plans:

a. being prepared?
b. fully prepared?
c. being implemented?

There is only one Ramsar site, the Coppenamemonding Nature Reserve, for which a Management Plan is being prepared.

At the same time, a feasibility study, and a Management Plan for the North Saramacca area, which is around the Coppenamemomnding Nature Reserve, are being prepared for establishing this area as a Multiple-use Management Area.

Please indicate in the attached table of Ramsar sites which sites these are and what category they fall into.

5.2 Of the management plans referred to above, which ones have included a monitoring scheme or programme to allow changes in ecological character to be detected? Please indicate this in the attached table of Ramsar sites also.

See 5.1

5.3 Has there been a change in the ecological character (either positive or negative) at any of your Ramsar sites or is this likely to occur in the near future? Yes/No. If Yes, please give details.

No, unless the North Saramacca area will be established as a MUMA soon.

5.4 In the case of Montreux Record Ramsar sites where the Management Guidance Procedure has been applied, what is the status of the implementation of the MGP report recommendations? What is the expected time-frame for removing the site from the Montreux Record?

Not applicable.

5.5 For those countries referred to in COP6 Recommendations 6.17.1-4, "Ramsar sites in the Territories of Specific Contracting Parties", please provide advice on the actions that have been taken in response to the issues raised at that time.

Not applicable.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 6
To designate for the Ramsar List those wetlands which meet the Convention’s criteria, especially wetland types still under-represented in the List and transfrontier wetlands.

6.1 Has a national inventory of wetlands been prepared for your country? Yes/No.

If no, are there plans for this to be done? Yes/No.

Where a national inventory exists please provide details of when it was finalised, where it is kept and what information it contains.

Not yet for the whole country. The ecosystems of the northern part of the country ( the coastal plain and the savanna region) have been inventoried, and completed in 1978. It resulted in the publication of the Reconnaissance Map Surinam Lowland Ecosystems, and contains information on the vegetation types of the occurring ecosystems.

A project proposal for the inventory of the interior south of the savanna region (Guayana Shield) has been prepared, and awaits for approval for funding and implementation.

6.2 Does there exist a list or directory of "important" wetlands for your country or region? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details of when it was finalised, where it is kept, what criteria for "important" were used, and the types of information it contains.

See 6.1.

Not known for the region.

6.3 If it is known, please provide an estimate of the area of wetlands in your country at present and any information on rates of loss or conversion to other activities.

Not available

If this information is available, please indicate what definition of "wetland" was used.

6.4 Have any actions been taken in response to the COP6 Resolutions and Recommendations that Contracting Parties should give priority to listing Wetlands of International Importance which:


a. meet the criteria for fish habitat (Resolution VI.2),

It is not allowed to drain waste water, in particular from rice fields, in the estuarine protected areas. Additional game wardens have been trained for enforcement to abolish the shortage of qualified personnel.

b. meet the 1% criterion for waterbird populations using data provided by the International Waterfowl Census (Resolution VI.4),


c. are subterranean karst or cave wetland systems (Resolution VI.5),

not applicable

d. are peatland ecosystems (Recommendation 6.1)

The Boven-Coesewijne area, partly comprising of peatland, has been declared a nature reserve.

e. are coral reefs and associated systems (Recommendation 6.7)

not applicable

f. are under-represented wetland types (which apart from d. and e. above include mangroves and sea grass beds) (Strategic Plan Action 6.2.3)

It is not allowed to harvest mangroves.

6.5 If your government indicated at COP6 that it would be proceeding to list further specific sites, please advise of the status of this action.

A proposal for listing two additional sites on the Ramsar List (the Bigi Pan Multiplt-use Management Area and the Wia Wia Nature Reserve) still exists.

6.6 Please advise which of the sites included in the Ramsar List from your country are transfrontier wetlands (Refer also to 7.1).


6.7 Describe any plans, or actions being taken for further transfrontier sites to be listed (Refer also to 7.1).

See 6.5: Bigi Pan MUMA.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 7
To mobilise international cooperation and financial assistance for wetland conservation and wise use in collaboration with other conventions and agencies, both governmental and non-governmental.

7.1 Briefly describe any bilateral or multilateral activities that have been taken, are under way, or are planned for the management of transfrontier wetlands or their watersheds/catchments (Refer also to 6.6 and 6.7).

No transfrontier wetlands.

7.2 Do you have Ramsar sites that are "twinned" with others, either nationally or internationally? Yes/No. If yes, please give details.

Yes. On March 1989, the Coppenamemomnding Nature Reserve (Ramsar site), together with the Bigi Pan Multiple-use Management Area, and the Wia Wia Nature Reserve have been twinned with the Minas basin in Nova Scotia and Shepody Bay in the Province of Brunswick, Canada, and at the same time they also have been listed as Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserves.

It is also the intention to twin other protected wetland areas of Suriname with one or more areas in French Guiana.

7.3 Where your country is also a signatory of any of the following Conventions, describe what mechanism(s) exist to assist regular dialogue and cooperative actions between the personnel responsible for their implementation and the Ramsar Administrative Authority:

a. Convention on Biological Diversity
b. Framework Convention on Climate Change
c. Convention to Combat Desertification
d. Convention on Migratory Species
e. World Heritage Convention

The Surinam Forest Service, which is the Ramsar Administrative Authority, is also the Management Authority for CITES and the Western Hemisphere Convention.

Staff of the Forest Service contributes to the work of the Conventions under a, b, and e.

7.4 Is your country cooperating as part of any bilateral or multilateral activities directed at the conservation of migratory wetland species? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.

There is a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Surinam Forest Service and the Canadian Wildlife Service for among others the conservation of migratory wetlands species, i.e. shorebird, while the Forest Service participates in the WHSRN.

7.5 Are there multilateral and/or bilateral donors supporting projects which contribute to implementation of the Ramsar Convention in your country? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details. 


  • UNEP-Jamaica has funded a project for the development of a rational Management Plan for the North Commewijne/Marowijne area in the estuarine zone of the country.
  • The Canadian Wildlife Service has funded the development of the Management Plan for the Bigi Pan Multiple-use management Area, and also has made some funds available for the implemtation (partly) of this Management Plan.
  • Through the Ramsar Small Grants Fund, the French Government has made funds available for the development of a Management Plan for the Coppenamemonding Nature Reserve and the surrounding North Saramacca area , which is now being implemented.
  • The Ramsar Small Grants Fund is funding a project for the development of a rational Management Plan for the North Coronie Area within the estuarine zone, and also for the project "Creation of a mobile Education and Public Awareness Program on Wise - use of Wetlands in Suriname".
  • A project proposal for training of reserve and wildlife managers in the region (Trinadad and Tobago), has been/will be submitted to the Wetlands for the Future for funding.

7.6 Does your government make an annual budgetary allocation to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands within your country? Yes/No. If yes, is this a specific allocation to a wetlands programme or as part of a larger environment or natural resource management budget?

Yes. There is an overall general budget for the Nature Conservation Division for its conservation program, which includes the conservation of wetlands.

7.7 If your country has a development assistance programme, does it include funds earmarked for wetland conservation and wise use in other countries? Yes/No. If yes, please give details.


7.8 Is there a formal process in place for consultation between the Ramsar Administrative Authority and the development assistance programme in your country, where one exists? Yes/No. If yes, what is that process.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 8
To provide the Convention with the required institutional mechanisms and resources.

8.1 Has your government made voluntary financial contributions, other than the invoiced contributions or to the Small Grants Fund, to further the work of the Convention globally? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.


8.2 If your country is in arrears with the payment of its annual contributions to the Ramsar Convention, please indicate the reasons for this situation and the prospects for paying these arrears in the near future.

Not applicable

Optional section - Participation of non-government organizations in the implementation of the Convention

These are optional questions relating to cooperation with and involvement of non-government organizations in the implementation of the Convention.

At COP6 some 42 NGOs made the "Brisbane NGO pledge of support for the Ramsar Convention". The Standing Committee agreed that for COP7 there should be an effort made to gauge the level and type of cooperation which is occurring between government Administrative Authorities and the national and international NGOs with an interest in wetlands issues.

In this optional section of the National Report, you are asked to describe the nature of the cooperation and relationship with any other international, regional, national and provincial NGOs operating within your country.

9.1 Approximately how many NGOs have wetlands as part of their regular "business" in your country?


Please break this down between international, regional and national/provincial organizations.


The Foundation for Nature Preservation in Suriname (STINASU) conducts research and education and public awareness program in nature reserves (see also 9.4);

Conservation International-Suriname.

9.2 Is there a regular forum or mechanism through which these NGOs express their views on wetland conservation and Ramsar implementation:

a. to each other? Yes/No   No

b. to the government? Yes/No  No

Not known

9.3 Does your government include one or more NGO representatives on its official delegation to Ramsar COPs? Yes/No

Yes, if funds are available.

9.4 Do any of the NGOs run programmes aimed at Education and Public Awareness about wetlands in your country? Yes/No. If yes, please give details (Refer also to question 3.1).

Yes.  The Foundation for Nature Preservation in Suriname (STINASU), a semi-government foundation, has also an Education Awareness Program concentrated on nature reserves and nature park, which also includes conservation of wetlands.

9.5 Where they exist, do Ramsar site management advisory committees include NGO representatives? If yes, please give details

Not applicable

9.6 Describe the themes of the Convention (refer to General Objectives 1-8 of the Strategic Plan) where you perceive the national/provincial NGOs to be most active.

Not applicable

Final comments:

10.1 General comments on implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan.


10.2 Observations concerning the functioning of, relations with, and services provided by:

a. The Ramsar Standing Committee
b. The Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel
c. The Ramsar Bureau
d. The Ramsar NGO partners

There is a good relationship between the Ramsar Administrative Authority in Suriname and the Ramsar bureau.

10.3 Any other general observations and/or recommendations for the future.


Paramaribo, June 11, 1998.

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