Designing a Developed Future for Suriname’s Matawai Forest Community

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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. 

In the workshop, the Matawai first drafted a 1990-2030 timeline to illustrate the region’s recent development history and outline their future expectations.  They next turned to the identification of services that are urgently needed along a new road being constructed between the villages of Atjoni to Pusugrunu. The community expressed their awareness that the road brings both economic potential and conservation risks.  The Matawai granman (chieftain) Leslie Valentijn has emphasized that no mining activities will be permitted in the region for the time being.

The workshop was financed by UNDP-GEF and the Suriname Conservation Foundation.

Read a Dutch version of the article on the ACT-Suriname website here.

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