Suriname has followed the example of neighboring Guyana in establishing a government office to coordinate climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.
Suriname has experienced an 8 percent drop in rainfall and a 0.5 degree Celsius increase in temperature in recent years. Farmers in low-lying areas have noticed that changing weather patterns are influencing their crops. In the past, climate change adaptation measures have only been taken haphazardly. By bringing all adaptation efforts under one agency, the government is now signaling to the world that it is taking climate change seriously and shifting toward climate-compatible development planning. Suriname is planning structural adaptation and mitigation measures, while taking advantage of its access to international climate change funding.
CCDA director John Goedschalk recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with international climate funding agencies. He believes Suriname stands to earn millions from the carbon compliance market through efforts such as a mangrove reintroduction program that is sequestering carbon and can help attract tourism. He’ll seek blue carbon credits, which are earned from carbon stored in wetlands like mangrove forests.
Professor Sieuwnath Naipal, who started the mangrove reintroduction program, said, “We are wrong to think that nature will adapt to us; we should be the ones instead who adapt to nature and help it out to correct things that went wrong.”
Earth Island Journal
There isn’t enough reporting on the impact of climate change on businesses and what they are (or are not) doing to adapt. The private sector provides us with a big chunk of services that we take for granted in our everyday lives. We depend on businesses to feed, clothe, and house us; to keep our homes lit and our water running; to build us roads and cars and airplanes. Businesses worldwide are beginning to see the impacts of more frequent storms, water scarcity, declining food production, and poor health (among workers). The social and economic consequences are serious because most of our money is controlled by the private sector.
In good hands?
The insurance industry is really pushing climate change adaptation strategies. Since the industry is all about pooling and managing risks in different parts of the economy, it’s probably the best equipped to develop creative adaptation and loss-prevention solutions. At least, it had better be. Financial services company Allianz estimates that from 2010 to 2019, the insurance industry’s average worldwide losses from weather-related disasters could total $41 billion annually.
In his book, Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth, Mark Hertsgaard said, “As important as strong government is, no society will avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable of climate change if its business community does not get involved.”