Race to Resilience in action: Replacing degraded land in Suriname with sustainable coconut farms 

By Climate Champions | May 14, 2024

Race to Resilience partner Initiative 20×20 is working with sustainable coconut company, Pomeroon Trading to restore degraded land in Suriname by planting a coconut seedling nursery and planting hardwood trees across a sprawling 1,200-hectare farm leased from the Surinamese government. Learn more about this initiative here. 

Partner: Initiative 20×20

Implementers: Pomeroon Trading, KlimatX, Silvestrum Climate Associates

Country & Region: Suriname, Coronie District, Commewijne District

SAA System: Food Security and Agriculture Systems

Beneficiaries/Impact: Restoration of 1,200 hectares of degraded land

Nestled on the northeastern coast of South America, Suriname is abundant with biodiversity and natural capital, with forests that cover over 90% of its territory.

This verdant landscape makes it a pivotal player in global carbon sequestration efforts, absorbing significant amounts of CO2 and mitigating the broader impacts of climate change.

In September 2023, Pomeroon Trading, a sustainable coconut company in the Caribbean that restores degraded land with sustainable coconut farms, launched an agroforestry project in the Coronie District. The project aims to combine sustainable agriculture with effective carbon offset practices, establishing a coconut seedling nursery and planting hardwood trees across a sprawling 1,200-hectare farm leased from the Surinamese government.

Agroforestry, the practice of integrating trees and shrubs into agricultural landscapes, offers an alternative to conventional farming, which often strips the soil of nutrients and increases susceptibility to pests. By incorporating diverse tree species, Pomeroon Trading’s approach enhances biodiversity, improves soil health, and conserves water. This strategy not only echoes the natural dynamics of ecosystems but also strengthens them, creating resilient environments that also offer sustainable economic opportunities for local communities.

Alongside its agroforestry initiatives, Pomeroon Trading is engaged in carbon offsetting – a process that is meant to balance out carbon dioxide emissions through projects such as renewable energy, reforestation, and methane capture from waste.

The project’s focus extends to restoring mangroves in the Coronie and Commewijne districts, areas critical for their carbon sequestration capabilities and their role as natural defenses against coastal erosion. With rising sea levels and increased storm surges posing a growing threat, these restoration efforts are vital for protecting the coastline and reducing the adverse effects of climate change on vulnerable communities.

At the heart of Pomeroon Trading’s strategy is a commitment to community involvement. Local communities, with their profound knowledge of the land and traditional practices, are essential to the success of environmental initiatives. By involving them in both planning and implementation, the project is ensuring that its projects are not only environmentally sound but also culturally sensitive and socially inclusive.

This community-first approach provides substantial benefits, from enhancing food security through diversified agriculture to empowering local residents with sustainable livelihoods. Moreover, it cultivates a sense of ownership and commitment among the locals, crucial for the longevity and success of the projects.

The collaboration with KlimatX and specialists like Silvestrum Climate Associates brings a wealth of knowledge and resources, ensuring that the projects adhere to international standards such as those set by Verra and Initiative Race to Resilience initiative, 20×20. This not only reinforces the scientific and technical rigour of the initiatives but also aligns them with global best practices in sustainability and carbon credit generation.

As the impacts of climate change intensify worldwide, the importance of building climate resilience cannot be overstated. Through its innovative agroforestry and mangrove restoration projects, Pomeroon Trading is playing a key role in protecting Suriname’s agricultural and ecological landscapes against extreme weather and other climate-related challenges, safeguarding the future of the nation’s communities and their natural heritage. These efforts not only contribute to Suriname’s environmental and economic stability but also set a precedent for sustainable land management practices globally.

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