Climate change is a phenomenon that requires the attention of various governments worldwide. Heat waves now occur in Europe in the summer. There is drought while rivers dry up. This puts pressure on the availability of water, including drinking water. This would result in a ban on spraying water in agriculture. The drought also affects food security and the price of food and feed as well as food transport due to low river levels. There are also forest fires in several countries. These wildfires put additional pressure on economies and communities.
Suriname will not be spared from climate change. Here we have talked dozens of times about the sea level rise that has been predicted for Suriname. Apart from the individual efforts of a professor planning parwa on the coast with FTW students, Suriname has no plans to cope with sea level rise. We have also expressed our doubts several times about the extent to which the mangrove forests can be an effective means and solution to the rising sea water. We believe that the professor’s project has a purely academic purpose, namely to establish one thing as a test: to what extent certain coasts can be rehabilitated through certain interventions. land accretion can take place and ecosystems can be revived. We doubt that land growth and a rehabilitated mangrove forest and ecosystem will be able to reverse the rising water.
We have recently learned that warm water currents are reaching the ice caps faster than usual. It will lead to a faster melting of the ice sheets and melting of the ice sheets. It is striking that the electorate in Suriname does not require the politicians to come up with plans regarding the rescue of Suriname. Politicians believe that they must save Suriname from other citizens who also have politics as a way of life. Surinamese politicians do not see sea level rise as their enemy, they see themselves as the enemy.
However, Suriname will not only have to deal with a rise in sea water that will flood a large part of the inhabited and agricultural area and force citizens to move deeper inland or… to other countries. Climate change will be related to long periods of drought and more intense periods of rainfall. Due to rainfall and swelling of rivers, many areas will also be flooded more often. It will also have the effect of rendering agricultural land unusable and livestock farming will no longer be possible in these areas. Areas are under water for a long time, houses are tens of thousands of centimeters under water. Suriname’s government reportedly has an improved relationship with the Netherlands, a country that is a world champion in building hydropower and managing water, but no aid comes to Suriname from that side. The help comes from Japan.
In recent months, there has been regular talk about diaspora and the like. We said long before the last elections that there is no Surinamese diaspora, in the sense of a Guyanese diaspora or a Jewish diaspora. There are several areas where so-called people of Surinamese descent and their children have also gained experience, but apart from the medical sector, there is no help from Surinam from any quarter. Nor is the availability of frameworks from the so-called frameworks visible in agricultural development, tourism, greener economy and investment in the growth sectors in general. And the same does not apply in sea level rise and climate change.
If the government is not focused on these issues, then there are ways to provide assistance to Suriname through private initiatives. But in practice, it often turns out that the aid comes with a nice price tag in line with the market. That’s the kind of help they want to offer. And people then expect to get things fixed via the short lines.
In Suriname, there are national politicized institutions like NIMOS that are aware of what will happen with climate change, but they are not prepared to take the risk of pressuring the government and forcing action. NIMOS only speaks in English. We also see this cautious attitude among international environmental institutes that have representation in Suriname. And we see the same cautious attitude in the UN programs and financial institutions that have offices or do business here. So there is talk of a collective ostrich policy and burying your head in the sand. The Surinamese people are not aware of the dangers of climate change, that they are life-threatening and that people will have to leave their habitats.
The question is for what? The low awareness is because the politicians have eased their convenience.
However, the awareness is more due to the national and international environmental organizations that play a role in the country, but the question is which one.