Suriname Establishes Govt Agency for Climate Adaptation


Written by Rachel Cernansky, a Treehugger blogger

The tiny South American nation of Suriname has recently joined its neighbor Guyana in creating an agency dedicated to dealing with climate change. Suriname, the continent’s smallest country, is a low-lying nation on the northern coast of South America, with the majority of the population concentrated along the coast where the capital is located.

More importantly, Suriname counts itself as one of the five nations most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The newly-created agency, the Climate Compatible Development Agency, will consolidate and streamline climate change-related efforts by the various departments within Suriname’s government, Reuters AlertNet reports, rather than continue to operate on a piecemeal basis.

“We owe it to our children to prepare ourselves for the effects climate change will have on our country,” President Desi Bouterse said, according to Suriname news agency DevSur.

“The establishment of the Climate Compatible Development Agency puts us in the fraternity of developing countries that are signaling their seriousness regarding adaptation,” said Agency Director John Goedschalk, a U.S.-trained economist trained to lead the agency.

The agency will be tasked with a variety of responsibilities:

1. To coordinate the country’s policies on climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as forest conservation. Climate Compatible Development Strategy
2. To help Suriname win international funding for efforts related to those policies.
3. To lead the country’s Climate Change Fund.
4. To support a Climate Compatible Knowledge Institute.

Local Approach to a Global Problem
Goedschalk sums up the situation that a lot of developing countries are in:

“Despite the fact that we do not contribute (substantially) to climate change, we stand to be impacted heavily by its effects. Our entire economic zone is located within our coastal areas, so when sea level rises we stand to lose a whole lot.”

Demerara Waves reports that one of Goedschalk’s first goals will be to accelerate the first carbon assessment program in Suriname. “We will introduce a strategy that is climate change compatible and goes parallel with Government’s development initiatives,” he said.

AlertNet reports that hydrology professor Sieuwnath Naipal recognizes that the agency comes with significant challenges—Goedschalk “will need adapted policies, technologies, money and most of all political will locally and internationally”—but said the fact is, “sooner or later all countries have to make the transition.”

That fact is a universal one, and is applicable on a level well beyond Suriname. It will be interesting to see what efforts sprout up from other countries facing the same challenge.

And with the development of the Green Climate Fund on the agenda for the UNFCCC‘s upcoming meeting in Durban, now just a few months away, it will be especially interesting to watch agencies form that will be able to use, efficiently and appropriately, any international funding made available to countries facing climate change-related challenges.

This post was originally published by Treehugger.


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Rising Sea Levels Threaten To Swallow Up Island Nations

Photo from Meredith James Johnstone via flickr creative commons


Abbe A.
Azaima A6 years ago

hope it helps

Regina P.
Regina P6 years ago


William G.
William G6 years ago

Work will begin immediately on the formation of a Green Climate Fund after the Cancun Accords granted the UN climate secretariat powers to appoint a new committee to lay the foundations for the centralized fund. Many developing countries had opposed proposals for the World Bank to operate the new fund, arguing that in the past it has failed to focus enough on climate change and has imposed controversial reforms on countries in return for access to finance. This funding is not about global warming, it is about subjecting small countries to a moral code. The codes are often so strict that the countries do not accept the funding. It sounds good if you do not read the small print. Another hoax in the name of global warming.

Rosie Lopez
Rosie Lopez6 years ago

awesome thanks!!

Tami Mendoza
Tami Mendoza6 years ago


Chris Ray
Chris R6 years ago

That's very cool. Our Govt looks for ways to dismantle our climate change groups while a tiny nation can start one of their own.

Christa Leduc
Christa Leduc6 years ago

All those who claim there is no such thing as global warming are only interested in money and power.

Karen & Edward O.
Karen and Ed O6 years ago

Scott M.

I so hope your comments were meant to be jokes.

Karen & Edward O.
Karen and Ed O6 years ago

Isn't this incredible? The US is beginning to look like it's run by a bunch of 10 year olds. And what's going on in South America? Bolivia and Peru have banned animals in circuses. And now Guyana and Suriname are doing something about dealing with global warming.
Meanwhile we can't even get this country to ban puppy mills and the Republicans in Congress won't even acknowledge global warming.
This is more than embarassing.

-- -6 years ago