Suriname coastal resilience and nature based solutions (mangroves)

Location: Suriname
Client: World Bank

We worked with the World Bank, supported by the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction programme, to carry out the technical assistance project to support the Government of Suriname. The main objective was to develop coastal management policies and interventions that will address coastal flooding, erosion and climate change hazards in a sustainable and adaptive manner.

Challenge

Suriname is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the impacts of sea-level rise. Most of the population lives within a few metres above mean sea level, making coastal communities particularly susceptible to erosion and flooding.  The muddy coastline of Suriname is also highly dynamic and transient due to the influence of the Amazon, adding additional complexity in terms of how to manage risks. While mangroves, which can help to mitigate flooding and erosion, exist along the coastline, these are under increasing threat from development and pollution.

Solution

Like many coastal communities, the risks of flooding and climate change in Suriname are now simply too high for any one intervention (e.g. a flood wall) to provide the level of resilience that is required to support sustainable communities.

In this study, we worked closely with the World Bank and the Government of Suriname Ministry of Public Works to investigate the cost/benefit of a range of potential interventions that could form an effective Integrated Flood Risk Management (IFRM) Strategy.

This work involved a range of advanced geomorphologic, analytical and modelling techniques that together helped to establish combinations of interventions that would:

  • address long-term coastal change
  • reduce sensitivity to short-term coastal erosion pressure
  • mitigate coastal flooding hazard.

Benefit

Through extensive engagement and training, and the delivery of new information and tools, this study has given the Government of Suriname the capacity it needs to make world-leading decisions about how to manage its coastline.

The approach has also demonstrated the value of nature-based solutions (such as mangroves) as part of holistic IFRM solutions that tackle flood risk through multi-faceted approaches; i.e. approaches that address risk using a range of green, grey, and technological approaches (e.g. early warning) combined with institutional capacity and governance.

Want to know more?

Email Mark Lawless for more information about this coastal resilience project in Suriname. Discover more of our projects on our International Development webpage.



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