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In order to prepare for climate change, the National Emergency Response Unit (NCCR) has started mapping at-risk areas in Suriname. Jerry Slijngard, NCCR chair, believes several studies on the effects of climate change, both in the Caribbean in general and Suriname specifically, conclude that measures must be taken in the light of changing natural conditions.

The NCCR is currently conducting a project financed by the Surinamese government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). "It is known that Suriname's entire coastal area is at risk when sea levels rise and we cannot rule out the possibility that the extent and effects of flooding by rivers will increase." A consultancy firm is determining risk factors based on an arithmetic model. These indicators developed by the IDB can be used to determine the country's preparedness for disasters. The firm has experience in carrying out such research, but its report is not finished yet.

Water level meters

Another action by the NCCR, also financed with IDB funds, is placing water level meters. "In 2009, the NCCR, in cooperation with the Anton de Kom University of Suriname (AdeKUS) with funds provided by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), conducted a preliminary study of areas which run the greatest risk of flooding. Based on that study, water level meters have been placed on five locations in the Tapanahony and Suriname Rivers and in the Coronie swamp. The meters are monitored constantly." Water level meters will be placed in other at-risk areas together with the university.


The third element of the project to prepare for climate change is drafting guidelines and measures to lower the risk of disaster at different levels. "This is a pilot in cooperation with three sectors: decentralization, education and environment. The project has just got off and we're currently establishing contacts with these sectors," Slijngard says. "This project is just a small part of the need for being better prepared for climate change, and the NCCR will keep working on this." Suriname is drafting a second report on at-risk areas which will be submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).-.

Source de Ware Tijd  NCCR preparess for climate change.22-01-2013


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Comment by Katharina Höne on March 6, 2013 at 17:30

This is really interesting. Thanks for sharing, Arielle.

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