Mangrove and peri-urban coastal protection in Suriname | WWF

Mangrove and peri-urban coastal protection in Suriname

© WWFGuianas/ Mangrove Forum Suriname
© WWFGuianas/ Mangrove Forum Suriname
The growing awareness on climate change brings coastal protection into the public eye. With its low-lying coastal capital, Suriname is markedly vulnerable to climate impacts. At present, large stretches of mangrove act as a green protective buffer along the country`s dynamic shoreline. The integrity of this critical ecosystem is, however, increasingly threatened in the peri-urban region due to urbanization. Ad hoc responses to localized flooding reflect the lack of a sound policy framework. In cooperation with the Mangrove Forum Suriname and a dedicated team of consultants, WWF Guianas did an assessment to inform the policy debate on the options for protecting Paramaribo from possible flood events through strengthening its northern shores. A 3-fold, step-wise approach has been applied to look at different scenarios and solutions. In the first phase, a desk study highlighted the unique dynamics of the Guianas` coastline in relation to coastal protection. The next step involved the development of comprehensive communication tools for the government and other relevant stakeholders (still in process). Finally, we performed an exploratory cost-benefit valuation of `soft` (e.g. mangrove conservation) versus `hard` (dykes) coastal protection options, using the Coastal Capital Toolkit of the World Resource Institute. The results of this analysis were visualized on an easily accessible and interactive web-based platform and linked to relevant spatial data. We welcome feedback on this online tool, because it is still open for review. It can be accessed through