Suriname Program

ACT’s most enduring projects in Suriname are roughly continuous with the organization’s inception. The program’s basis was the ethnobotanical fieldwork of ACT co-founder Dr. Mark Plotkin, who directed his research toward understanding traditional plant uses and treatments of indigenous healers in the region. ACT-Suriname's work emerged from Dr. Plotkin’s desire to help his indigenous colleagues to retain their cultural identity and conserve their environmental heritage in the face of modern change.

Our first two major efforts in Suriname were precedent-setting biocultural conservation initiatives: the consecutive establishment of an intergenerational traditional medicinal knowledge transmission program (“Shamans and Apprentices”) and a series of village-level traditional medicine clinics, and the first large-scale participatory cultural mapping project conducted in the Amazon, using a methodology that we subsequently replicated in Brazil and Colombia.

ACT Suriname Projects

Click the thumbnails or titles to learn about each project area.

Cultural and Land Use Mapping

Ethnoeducation

Increasing Agricultural Yields and Sustainable Income Generation

Indigenous Park Guard Program

Natural Resource and Biodiversity Management

Shamans and Apprentices Program / Traditional Medicine Clinics

ACT Suriname Map Tour

View our ACT Suriname Map Tour to learn more and see where our projects are located.

ACT Suriname News

Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2016
ACT is undertaking a significant upgrade to our field data collection efforts—and that of our community partners—by introducing Open Data Kit (ODK) smartphone and tablet data collection forms.
Posted on Friday, February 5, 2016
On February 5, 2016, during a meeting at the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT)-Suriname Office, the granman (chieftain) of Suriname’s Matawai Maroon community, Leslie Valentijn, signed an official memorandum of understanding of collaboration with ACT
Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

From January 16 to 18, 2016, ACT contributed to a capacity building workshop for local teachers centering on the nation’s Green Education Chest initiative.

ACT Suriname Field Notes

By: Minu Parahoe
Date: Friday, April 15, 2016
For a dedicated group of Matawai Maroon women who are cultivating pepper for income generation in villages along Suriname’s upper Saramacca River, ACT has provided an industrial pepper mill to alleviate their strenuous physical work.
By: Minu Parahoe
Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2016
In September 2015, Anna Nantawi and Ketoera Aparaka, two Trio indigenous women from Suriname’s remote rainforest interior, departed for Rajasthan, India to begin a six-month solar power installation training course to benefit their community. On March 15, 2016, the women finally returned to Suriname.
By: Minu Parahoe
Date: Sunday, March 27, 2016
Over five days in late January 2016, for ten villages along Suriname's upper Saramacca River populated by the nation’s Matawai Maroon community, the Avittiemauw Foundation and ACT led a workshop to enable the Matawai communities to continue their visualization of desired activities toward the proper development of their area.