Adaptation measures in the NCAP Suriname Project

Submitted by Ben Smith | published 20th Jul 2011 | last updated 20th Jul 2011

In the course of the project, a range of key technical and non-technical adaptation measures have been proposed and discussed, as outlined below:

Measure 1: Stop all developments in the northern part (natural areas) of the districts of Paramaribo and Wanica

Measure 2: Intensive in-depth studies and research into the possible impacts of sea level rise.

Measure 3: Planting of mangrove forests

Measure 4: Construction of river dikes and defenses

Measure 5: Constructions of a sea wall and/or groins

Measure 6: A dike to prevent future flooding and sea water penetration, should be built further in land.

Measure 7: Relocation of communities

 

The study area can be roughly divided into the following sections:

Section 1: Northern part of the Study Area

This area is the most vulnerable in terms of land loss and areas that will be affected by a sea level rise of 1m. It is sparsely populated, with mangrove forests in the northeast and northwest. Mangrove forests in the middle part of the coastal zone have been almost completely cleared for agricultural purposes. Scattered human settlements are found on the ridges, which in general are located higher than the surrounding clay depositions. Bad natural drainage conditions have led to formations of swamps, deterioration of water quality, ranging from salt through brackish to fresh. Polder structures established in this region have caused subsidence in these areas, thereby enhancing its vulnerability.

For this region the following measures are proposed:

Protection

Soft protection - enhancing resilience of the coastal zone, through:

• Creating more space for the shore area; Creating conditions for mangrove growth; and Planting mangrove forests.

Hard protection - construction of:

• Groins; Seawalls; Breakers; and Other structures.

Construction of earth dams to prevent the urban areas from flooding

Retreat

o The area north of the proposed earth dam will be exposed to sea level rise and should be preserved as a ‘green zone'. People living in this area should be given the opportunity to leave the location within an agreed period of time. Areas for relocation need to be determined.

 

Section 2: Left Bank of the Suriname River

The capital city of Paramaribo is located on the left bank of the Suriname River as are the major port facilities and consequently all major infrastructure.Presently the area is not exposed to erosion except for certain locations where hard protection measures are in place. A substantial part of the left bank is occupied by industries, residences, hotels and other facilities. The lower parts of the left bank have been land filled to reach the present required height for construction purposes. This has resulted in higher elevation than in the surrounding area and therefore functions as a barrier against flooding from high spring tides. For this section the following measures are proposed:

Protection

Soft protection:

• Preserve the mangrove forests along the river; and Create conditions for mangrove growth.

Hard protection - construction of:

• Groins, if needed; River wall/dike; and Other structures.

It should be noted that protection will be required over the whole length of the river bank up to the southern border.

Retreat

This option is not appropriate here. Therefore it is even more important that regulations are put in place to prevent damage to the riverbank.

Section 3: Southern Part of the Study Area Including Lelydorp and the Surrounding Area

This area is characterized by relatively high elevations and relatively poor soil for agricultural purposes. The local town Lelydorp is the capital of the Wanica district and many governmental and other administrative facilities are based there. It is a transit zone between the areas in the north and areas in the south so a great deal of infrastructure for traffic and electricity goes through it.

For this section the following measures are proposed:

Protection

Soft protection

• No soft protection is proposed

Hard protection

• No hard protection is proposed

- Retreat

o Not applicable.

The implementation of appropriate spatial planning would be beneficial to this area.

Section 4: Middle and Western Part of the Study Area including Saramacca Canal and the Kwatta Region

This area is characterized by low fertility, abandoned agricultural lands, large open channels and low population density. The Saramacca Canal is the main water way located in the center of the study area and it drains its surplus water into the Saramacca River in the west and the Suriname River in the east. The canal is also important for navigation of small barges and boats.

For this part of the study area the following measures are identified:

Protection

Soft protection

• No soft protection is proposed

Hard protection

• No hard protection is proposed

Retreat

o Not applicable.

Proper spatial planning would be beneficial to this area.