94.7% —or about 14,776,000 hectares—of Suriname is forested. Of this, 96.2% —or roughly 14,214,000 hectares—is classified as primary forest, the most biodiverse form of forest.

Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2000, Suriname had no significant change or no reported in forest cover.

Biodiversity and Protected Areas: Suriname has some 1104 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 1.3% are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 1.8% are threatened. Suriname is home to at least 5018 species of vascular plants. 12.7% of Suriname is protected under IUCN categories I-V.

Suriname Environmental profile


Suriname: Forest Cover, 2005
Total Land Area (ha)15,600,000
Total Forest Area (ha)14,776,000
Percent Forest Cover94.72%
Primary Forest Cover (ha)14,214,000
Primary Forest, % total forest96.20%
Primary Forest, % total land91.12%
Other wooded land (ha)-

Suriname : Forest types
Tropical (% forest area)100%
Subtropical (% forest area)0%
Temperate (% forest area)0%
Boreal/polar (% forest area)0%

Suriname: Breakdown of forest types, 2005
Primary forest (ha | %)14,214,00096.2%
Modified natural (ha | %)550,0003.7%
Semi-natural (ha | %)5,0000.0%
Production plantation (ha | %)7,0000.0%
Production plantation (ha | %)-0.0%

Suriname: Change in Forest Cover
Forest 1990 (ha)14,776,000
Forest 2000 (ha)14,776,000
Forest 2005 (ha)14,776,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)-0.00%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Change in rate (%)#DIV/0!
Primary 1990 (ha)14,214,000
Primary 2000 (ha)14,214,000
Primary 2005 (ha)14,214,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)-0.00%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Change in rate (%)#DIV/0!
Other 1990 (ha)-
Other 2000 (ha)-
Other 2005 (ha)-
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)--
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)--
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)--
Change in rate (%)-
Other 1990 (ha)7,000
Other 2000 (ha)7,000
Other 2005 (ha)7,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)-0.00%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Change in rate (%)#DIV/0!
Forest area+Wooded Area-Plantations
Other 1990 (ha)14,769,000
Other 2000 (ha)14,769,000
Other 2005 (ha)14,769,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)-0.00%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Change in rate (%)#DIV/0!

Suriname: Primary
Primary or "old-growth" vegetation
Primary Forest 2005 (ha)14,214,000
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)-
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)14,214,000
Undisturbed vegetation 2005 (% land area)91.12%

Suriname: Forest designation
Ownership of forest land, 2000
Public (%)99.7%
Private (%)0.3%
Other (%)-
Ownership of other wooded land, 2000
Public (%)-
Private (%)-
Other (%)-
Designated functions of forest – primary function 2005
Production (%)27.1%
Protection (%)-
Conservation (%)12.8%
Social Services (%)-
Multiple Services (%)3.3%
None of Unknown (%)56.8%

Suriname: Disturbances affecting forest land 2000
Forest Area annually affected by
Fire (%)0.00%
Insects (ha)0.00%
Diseases (ha)0.00%
Other (ha)0.00%

Suriname: Protected areas
Protected areas
Biosphere reserves, 2005
Wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites), 20051
World Heritage sites, 20042
Protected Areas: IUCN categories I-V, percent of total land12.7%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories Ia, Ib, and II, extent, percent of total land9.85%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories III, IV, and V, percent of total land, 20041.45%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories VI and other, percent of total land, 20040.00%

Suriname: Biodiversity - Wildlife
total species86
endemic species7
threatened species2
total species674
endemic species1
threatened species0
total species203
endemic species1
threatened species12
total species141
endemic species5
threatened species6
Wildlife diversity
total species1104
endemic species14
threatened species20

Suriname: Biodiversity - Plants
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Number of Native tree species
Native tree species600
Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Critically Endangered1
Vascular Plant Species, 2004
Number endemic0
Number of Threatened Plant Species, 2004
Species threatened27

Suriname: Value of forests
Biomass stock in forest, 2005
Above-ground biomass (M t)8,016
Below-ground biomass (M t)3,367
Dead wood (M t)1,252
Total (M t)12,635
Carbon stock in forest, 2005
Carbon in above-ground biomass (M t)4,008
Carbon in below-ground biomass (M t)1,684
Carbon in dead wood (M t)626
Carbon in litter (M t)-
Soil carbon (M t)-
Change in growing stock 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate (1000 cubic m/yr)
Growing stock per hectare 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate ( cubic m/ha per yr)
Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (1000 cubic m)200
Wood fuel (1000 cubic m)5
Total wood removal 2005 (1000 cubic m)205
Total wood removal 2005 (% of growing stock)n.s.
Plant products 2005
Food (t)-
Fodder (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Raw material for utensils, handicrafts & construction (t)-
Ornamental plants (t)-
Exudates (t)-
Other plant products (t)-
Animal products 2005
Living animals (units)-
Hides, skins and trophies (units)-
Wild honey and bee-wax (t)-
Bush meat (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Other edible animal products (t)-
Other non-edible animal products (t)-
Value of wood and non-wood forest product removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (US$)$15,000,000
Wood fuel (US$)$60,000
Non-wood forest products (US$)-
Total value (US$)$15,060,000
Total value ($USD/ha)$1
Employment in forestry 2000
Total people employedn.s.

Suriname : Production, trade and consumption of forest products, 2002
Woodfuel ('000 cubic m), 2002
Industrial roundwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Sawnwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Wood-based panels ('000 cubic m), 2002
Pulp for paper ('000 metric tons), 2002
Paper and paperboard ('000 metric tons), 2002
Suriname: Environment
Environment - current issuesdeforestation as timber is cut for export; pollution of inland waterways by small-scale mining activities
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Natural hazardsNA

Suriname: Land use / Resources
Land use (%)arable land: 0.37%
permanent crops: 0.06%
other: 99.57% (2001)
Natural resourcestimber, hydropower, fish, kaolin, shrimp, bauxite, gold, and small amounts of nickel, copper, platinum, iron ore

Suriname: Economy
Economy - overview:The economy is dominated by the alumina industry, which accounts for more than 15% of GDP and 70% of export earnings. Suriname's economic prospects for the medium term will depend on continued commitment to responsible monetary and fiscal policies and to the introduction of structural reforms to liberalize markets and promote competition. The government of Ronald VENETIAAN has begun an austerity program, raised taxes, and attempted to control spending. While - in 2002 - President VENETIAAN agreed to a large pay raise for civil servants, threatening his earlier gains in stabilizing the economy, he did not repeat this promise in the run-up to the May 2005 elections, which he won. Economic policies are likely to remain the same during VENETIAAN's second term. The Dutch Government has agreed to restart the aid flow, which will allow Suriname to access international development financing, but plans to phase out funds over the next five years. The short-term economic outlook depends on the government's ability to control inflation and on the development of projects in the bauxite and gold mining sectors. The opening of the Gross Rosbel gold mine is expected to boost exports and GDP growth. Prospects for local onshore oil production are good, as a drilling program is underway. Offshore oil drilling was given a boost in 2004 when the State Oil Company (Staatsolie) signed exploration agreements with Repsol and Mearsk.
GDP - per capita$4,700 (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate (%)4% (2005 est.)
Agriculture - productspaddy rice, bananas, palm kernels, coconuts, plantains, peanuts; beef, chickens; forest products; shrimp
GDP - composition by sector (%)agriculture: 13%, industry: 22%, services: 65% (2001 est.)
Industries bauxite and gold mining, alumina production, oil, lumbering, food processing, fishing
Economic aid - recipientNetherlands provided $37 million for project and program assistance, European Development Fund $4 million, Belgium $2 million (1998)
Debt - external$321 million (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line (%)70% (2002 est.)
Labor force - by occupation (%)agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%

Suriname: Population / Demographics
Population (July 2005)438,144
Population growth rate (%) (2005)0.25%
Population density (people/sq km) (2005)2.7
Percent rural (2003)23.9%
Median age (years)total: 26.13 years
Total fertility rate (children born/woman)2.34 (2005 est.)
Ethnic groups (%)Hindustani (also known locally as "East Indians"; their ancestors emigrated from northern India in the latter part of the 19th century) 37%, Creole (mixed white and black) 31%, Javanese 15%, "Maroons" (their African ancestors were brought to the country in the 17th and 18th centuries as slaves and escaped to the interior) 10%, Amerindian 2%, Chinese 2%, white 1%, other 2%

Largest Cities in Suriname

Cities and urban areas in Suriname with population over 100,000 All figures are estimates for 2002.

CityCountryCity PopulationUrban Area Population

 Environment, Land use / Resources, Economy, Population / Demographics, Infrastructure, Health -- CIA World Factbook, 2005
 Forest Cover, Forest types, Breakdown of forest types, Change in Forest Cover, Primary forests, Forest designation, Disturbances affecting forest land, Value of forests, Production, trade and consumption of forest products -- The FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS's Global Forest Resources Assessment (2005) and the State of the World’s Forests (2005, 2003, 2001)
 Protected Areas, Plant and animal biodiversity -- United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). 2004. World Database on Protected Areas.
 Biosphere reservers -- United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - Man and Biosphere Program. 2004. UNESCO - MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory.
 RAMSAR sites -- The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands . 2005. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
 World Resources Institute's EarthTrends web site
 The 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
 Population Data -- United Nations Population Fund
 With additional analysis by Rhett Butler of

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