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: Carlo Koorndijk
Date: Monday, March 14, 2016

ACT has launched a pilot project that provides older students with tablets so that they may gather and share audiovisual materials to expand their understanding of coursework. A special thanks to the students of Apetina for sharing the following festive video, the first produced with their new tools.

By: Steven Leeflang
Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Anna Nantawi and Ketoera Aparaka—women from indigenous villages of the nation of Suriname’s remote rainforest interior—are two months into their solar engineering training at the Barefoot College campus in India.

By: Leen de Laender
Date: Tuesday, December 29, 2015

In the indigenous village of Kwamalasamutu in southern Suriname, ACT has launched a pilot project to help the community members raise forest bees for income. The bees’ “bush honey” will be marketed in the nation’s capital city of Paramaribo.