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Suriname: The Greenest Country on Earth - A Special Report

Suriname: The Greenest Country on Earth - A Special Report

Suriname: The Greenest Country on Earth is a Special Report produced by The Washington Times International Advocacy Department.

Desiré Delano Bouterse, President of Suriname

Attaining new heights in sustainable development

By Katrina Lamb

Suriname is a country of striking human diversity: a country where musical traditions of Java and India, age-old rhythms of Ghana, poems of indigenous folk tales and the prayers of Jews and Muslims alike blend into a surprisingly harmonious national voice. Published September 16, 2014

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Opening ceremony of the United Nations Climate Summit, September 2014.
(Photo: Courtesy United Nations)

Suriname calls for action at U.N. Climate Summit

Addressing the United Nations Climate Change Summit 2014, Suriname pledged that it would continue embracing its green policies, and called on the world' community to join the battle against global warming.

The Arya Dewaker Hindu Temple in Paramaribo (Photo: Courtesy Wilderness Explorers)

A mosaic of cultural and religious diversity

Suriname is a country of exceptional ethnic and religious diversity: a diversity, which, through the exercise of tolerance and co-existence, has become a national strength. It is a strength born out of hardship.

Henry Mac Donald, Permanent Representative of Suriname to the United Nations

Small states speak with moral authority

Like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, small and developing coastal nations and island-states are singularly qualified to identify the world's problems – and help mobilize solutions.

The eventual aim of the South Suriname Project is to safeguarding the headwaters of Suriname’s most important rivers. (Courtesy Government of Suriname)

Indigenous people redefine conservation

Suriname, nestled on the northeastern coast of South America, is a small country with huge conservation ambitions. It sits atop the ancient Guiana Shield formation which stores approximately 10-15 percent of the global freshwater supply and which is covered with rich Amazonian rainforest.

Mining activities in the interior of Suriname

U.S. Ambassador upbeat about Suriname's business opportunities

Suriname has embarked on an ambitious development program – and it is welcoming foreign direct investment to pay for it. U.S. companies will find a business-friendly climate in the tiny and resource-rich nation, situated on the northeast corner of South America.

Suriname works to balance respect for the tribes living in the rainforest (villages, hunting areas, cultural places) with resource development and ecotourism. This lodge for tourists is well integrated into its environment. (Photo: Courtesy Wilderness Explorers)

Will development plans succeed?

Suriname, a resource-rich and developing nation, has embarked on an ambitions long-range development plan. Foreign direct investment is being welcomed. The two most prospective sectors: minerals and oil. The four-year-old government of President Desir Bouterse plans to boost revenues from those sectors - now 40 percent of GDP and plow them into development projects that benefit the population of 542,000.

River view of the Wijdenboschbrug. Sea boats enter Suriname through here. (Photo: Courtesy Government of Suriname)

IDCS: Bringing partners in investment to Suriname

Sustainable economic growth is a key pillar of Suriname's medium and long-term development strategy. Recognizing the important role that foreign direct investment (FDI) plays in building long term growth, the Government of President Desir Delano Bouterse established the Investment Development Corporation of Suriname (IDCS) on April 18, 2014.

Tout Lui Faut refines about 7,350 barrels per day of diesel fuel, fuel oil, and asphalt bitumen – about half of the country’s needs. (Photo: Courtesy Staatsolie Public Relations)

Oil industry heats up

Suriname's State Oil Company, Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname N.V., is generating excitement and buzz in the oil industry, now that some offshore drilling is expanding after many months of deep-water exploration.

The Government of Suriname is building bridges to connect remote communities to economic and social life.
(Photo: Courtesy Government of Suriname)

Suriname buzzes with infrastructure construction

New bridges, new roads, and upgrades of aging roads and infrastructure all are underway in Suriname as the small South American nation undertakes an ambitious development plan.

Signing ceremony of the mineral agreement between Surgold (Newmont) and the Republic of Suriname for the Merian project,  Jim Hok, Minister of Natural Resources (left) Adriaan Van Kersen, Managing Director of Surgold (right).

Newmont starts $1 billion gold-mining project

U.S. gold-mining giant Newmont Mining Corporation, after years of geological studies and negotiations with the government of Suriname, has started work on its Merian Gold Project a site in the northeastern part of Suriname.

Suriname's President Desire Delano Bouterse speaks at the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Andrew Burton)

New power plant meets rising demand

It was an important symbol of the government's commitment to providing reliable electricity the recent opening of a modern power plant in Paramaribo.

Robert Ameerali, Vice President of Suriname. (Photo: Courtesy Government of Suriname)

Open for business: Suriname looks to grow and broaden its investment opportunities

Suriname's economy offers many attractions for foreign investors. Steady real GDP growth (projected at a five percent annual average rate through 2016), low inflation and solid international credit ratings (Moody's Ba3, S&P BB-) are among the headline numbers that have contributed to a recent uptick in foreign direct investment (FDI) flows from the United States, Canada and elsewhere.

The Port of Paramaribo, a mid-sized facility known locally as Nieuwe Haven, is situated along the Suriname River in the capital of Paramaribo. (Photo: Courtesy N.V. Havenbeheer)

Port of Paramaribo serves growing region

The Port of Paramaribo is playing a vital role in Suriname's effort to ramp up its development, and it has plenty of capacity to grow with Suriname and the region, say officials.

Rising sea levels from melting glaciers, ice caps, and the oceans' thermal expansion could eventually flood the low-lying capital of Paramaribo. (Photo: Courtesy Government of Suriname)

Staying 'green' to keep the ocean at bay

In a worst-case scenario, global warming would prove disastrous for Suriname. Rising sea levels from melting glaciers, ice caps, and the oceans' thermal expansion would cover large portions of the low-lying coastal country and flood the capital of Paramaribo.

As one of the world’s most ethnically and culturally diverse countries, Suriname has many colorful street festivals for visitors to enjoy.  (Photo: Courtesy Government of Suriname)

Tourism industry poised for growth

Suriname's incipient tourism industry may not be widely known, yet it enjoys dazzling bragging rights a glowing travel article in The New York Times that dubbed it "South America's hidden treasure."