Location Located on the North-east corner of South America  Map
National websites  Suriname Home Page
Guianas Country Programs
Embassy / Chancery in U.S. Dr. Sophie 
Redmondstraat 129, 
Paramaribo, Suriname. 
P.O.Box 1821, Paramaribo, Suriname.
Phone: (+597) 472900. 
Fax: (+597) 410025. Telex: 373 AMENSU SN
Agencies responsible for biological inventory and conservation  Ministry of Natural Resources
Mr. Dr. J.C. de Mirandastraat #11-15
Suriname (S.A.)
Tel: (011) 597 47 46 66
Fax: (011) 597 47 29 11
Non-governmental organizations concerned with conservation  Conservation International

Foundation for a Sustainable Suriname

 Ethnobiology and Conservation Team 

Major Natural Resources  Suriname is an enviornmentally blessed country with wetlands, savannah, and of course rain forest.  The extensive supply of bauxite is what left the country's tropical rainforest virtually untouched because it served as the country's source of wealth .  However, now that the bauxite supply has been virtually exhausted, the government is seeking to cash in on the forest resources.  There are a variety of other natural resources that could be tapped into without hurting the environment.  Suriname has such a rich variety of species, especially birds, that ecotourism would be very successful.  Also non-timber products and bioprospecting are industries that could floruish given the immense resources the forest has to offer.
Major Environmental and Conservation Issues  Suriname is a country with well developed environmental programs and laws.  However, many of Suriname's environmental efforts are in jeopardy because of the serious economic problems the country is facing.  Malaysian logging companies offered to buy portions of the rainforest.  Therefore, ecosystem conversion is Suriname's greatest threat.  However, non-governmental organizations have stepped in with funds to  save a great majority of the reserves already in placed the government was willing to cooperate.  For the time being, the triopical rainforests are safe.
Statistics Information Sources
Land area 163,270 (Sq. km)  Link to source
Area of forest 15,600 hectares (80% of land)  Link to source
Area of wetlands 109 hectares  Link to source
Area of territorial waters 1,800 (Sq. km)  Link to source
Population  424,569  Link to source
Population Density ( 2.7 /Sq. km)
Area protected (ha) (only areas >1000ha) at all IUCN levels  2 reserves at level II
11 reserves at level IV
  • Brownsberg   Level  II         8,400  1969
  • Boven Coesewijne   IV    27,000  1986
  •  Brinckheuvel   IV          6,000  1972
  •  Copi     IV          28,000  1986
  •  Coppename Monding  IV  12,000  1966
  •  Eilerts de Haan   IV   220,000  1966
  •  Galibi   IV            4,000  1969
  •  Peruvia   IV          31,000  1986
  •  Raleighvallen-Voltzberg   II          78,170  1966
  • Sipaliwini    IV  100,000  1972
  • Tafelberg    IV   140,000  1966
  •  Wane kreek   IV   45,400  1986

  •  Wia-wia     IV          36,000  1961
Fraction of land area protected (%)  35.9% mangroves
4% tropical forest
 Link to source
Major Protected Areas 12% of total land area of country is protected

List from Information Center for the Environment


 Suriname's Nature Reserves
Map of forest area protected
Endemic Species *Not necessarily endemic
Mammals  200
Birds  674
Reptiles  130
Amphibians  99
Fish  300
Invertebrates  1750
Plants  5000
Endangered, Threatened and Vulnerable Species
Mammals  10
Birds  2
Reptiles  6
Amphibians  0
Fish  0
Invertebrates  0
Plants  103


Complete Plant Listing

World Conservation Monitoring Centre - Animal 

World Conservation Monitoring Centre - Plants

Extinct Species


Complete Plant Listing

World Conservation Monitoring Centre - Animal 

World Conservation Monitoring Centre - Plants

Species listed on CITES Appendix I


CITES-listed Species Database
Species listed on CITES Appendix II

CITES-listed Species Database
Laws protecting endangered or threatened species
  •  Game Law (prtoects animals)
  • Law on Forest Management (plants)
  • Nature Preservation Law
  • Fish Protection Law
  • Sea Fisheries Law


Laws protecting endangered ecosystems  Forestry Act (1992):  "Under the Forestry Act, forests may only be open to exploitation once an inventory has been made of the timber in the concession area and a proper management plan has been drawn up. Only on acceptance of this plan should a felling license be given out."   Source

The Nature Protection Act of 1954 (establishes reserves)

National Environmental Action Plan

Signatory to CITES 2/15/81
Signatory to Ramsar Wetlands Convention 11-22-85, 1 site, 12,000 hectares
Signatory to Convention on Biological Diversity  January 12, 1996
Signatory to Migratory Bird Treaty
Member of International Whaling Commission Yes
Signatory to other international treaties designed to protect or manage biological resources
  •  Convention on Wetlands of  International Importance (1971)
  • Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972)
  • Treaty for Amazonian Cooperation (1978)
  • Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992)
  • Endangered Species
  • Marine Dumping
  • Nuclear Test Ban
  • Ship Pollution
  • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982)
  • Amazon Cooperation Treaty
  • Caribbean Environment Program 


Natural Resource Use Information Sources
Fisheries  $4.9 million  Center for Global Trade Development
Forestry / deforestation  $3.2 million  Source
Ecotourism  Initiated in the 1970's.  Being developed more extensively.   More information
Trade in wildlife products
Hunting  "Trade in wildlife and endangered species is widespread, with preferred species being parrots, macaws, parakeets, songbirds, and a variety of reptiles, amphibians and orchids."   Source
Other uses of natural resources  Bauxite and aluminium, palm oil, rice, shrimp and fish, bananas
$14,375,000 (minerals)
Bauxite (70% of export earnings)
Human Impacts on Natural Resources Information Sources
Air pollution  A problem in the heavily-populated city of Paramibo.  source
Water pollution  Suriname River threatened by a poor sewage system.  Also, there is chemical-waste dumping by various industries.  Pollution from ship-generated waste   source
Development activities  Logging threats to the tropical rain forest.  Mining activity  source
Introduced species
Legislation addressing these issues  Plans to establish a National Board of Water Management

International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) (1988)

Restoration and Reintroduction Information Sources
Programs for restoration of damaged habitat 
Programs for ex situ conservation (captive breeding and reintroduction) of endangered species

Please click here for an excellent overview of the environmental situation in Suriname.

Return to Endangered Species Protection around the World

Page compiled by Christy Egbert as part of a class project in h90 "The Science of Biodiversity and Conservation" (Peter J. Bryant, Instructor), University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA