Green Conversations

In this project, raising awareness of current and future policymakers and society in general is an important component. Since the COVID-19 pandemic became noticeable in Suriname, we were forced to postpone our planned awareness-raising activities for the time being. However, thanks to technology, we can still work on awareness and social debate in an alternative way. Want to know more? Read on below.

For auto-generated subtitles, select the settings icon in the youtube video. Consequently, turn on subtitles (which will be in Dutch) and then select the auto-translate option to choose the language you wish. Click on the 'cc' icon to turn display the subtitles.

1. The cultural and historical value of urban green

July 30, 2020 - Everyone has ever walked in the center of Paramaribo or played sports in the Cultuurtuin. Some do that on a daily basis. However, not everyone realizes that the trees and gardens they pass are much older than us. They have been there for decades and sometimes hundreds of years. What are the stories behind them? How did this greenery become part of our historic city center?


Guest speakers:

  • Mr. Stephen Fokké - Director of the Suriname Heritage Foundation and UNESCO site manager for the historic city center of Paramaribo.
  • Mrs. Eliza Zschuschen - Acting Head of the National Herbarium of Suriname (BBS) and Coordinator Suriname for South American Botanic Gardens Network and Botanic Gardens Conservation

2. Food supply in a green living environment

August 27, 2020 - Food plays such an important role in the Surinamese culture and now with covid-19 a lot of attention is given to healthy food and planting ourselves. What better way to know where your food is coming from and that it is being grown and processed in a healthy and safe way, than to grow your own food?

While there may not always be a large garden for this, there are several ways in which urban green can contribute to the food supply, such as communal gardens and fruit trees in public green spaces. How can greenery in our living environment contribute to healthy nutrition and food security? What are some of the best methods for doing this?

Guest speakers:

  • Dhr. Arioene Vreedzaam - Chairman of the foundation of Environmental Awareness, Research and Training and doctoral candidate in Environmental Health at the MWI
  • Dhr. Marcel Leune  - Part-time project employee and project coordinator of the school garden project from stg. Projekta.

3. The potential value of urban green spaces for tourists and visitors

September 24, 2020 - Suriname is often branded as the most forested country in the world. Yet you don't always have to travel deep into the jungle to enjoy greenery. Some cities are famous for their urban green spaces, which attract tourists from around the world, such as the Cherry Blossom trees in Japan, the famous Central Park in New York or the breathtaking botanical gardens in Latin American cities.
September 27th is World Tourism Day. In what ways can urban greenery in Paramaribo add value to the tourism industry? What can we learn from examples abroad and what would fit best in our tropical and cultural contexts? Join our third Green Conversation about the potential value of urban green space for Tourists and local visitors.

Guest speakers:

  • Errol Gezius - Secretary of the United Tour Guides of Suriname
  • Pablo Mendez Lazaro - Associate Professor of the Environmental Health Department at the Graduate School of Public Health in Puerto Rico
  • Sherida Mormon, Director of METS Travel & Tours

4. Nature in the city: Inspiration in our lives and mental well-being

October 29, 2020 - In addition to beautifying nature, nature has scientifically proven to have benefits for mental health! As urbanization increases, green spaces are disappearing into neighborhoods and city residents have to travel longer distances to relax and recreate in nature areas. Certainly in times of the crisis (COVID, financial) people are under extra pressure. The 10th of October was World Mental Health Day.

What is the importance of green in the city and in the neighborhood for our daily mental well-being?

Guest speakers:
  • Mr. Harry Mungra - Clinical psychologist & Remedial educationalist
  • Mrs. Natascha Neus - Doctor in Medicine & Non-Western Sociology

5. Towards a "cooling" city for a more livable future

November 26, 2020 - The “urban heat island” effect is a relatively well-known phenomenon in which urban areas heat up faster and more than their surrounding areas. Nevertheless, the way in which this effect manifests itself in tropical cities has been less studied / researched. With a greater likelihood of extreme heat due to climate change, it is important to understand how urban greenery affects the environment and microclimate. This can help make tropical cities more resilient to the threats of climate change. Within the Green Paramaribo project, there are two master students who did their graduation research on the cooling effects of urban greenery in Paramaribo. They share some of their insights with their supervisor.

Guest speakers:

  • Dr. Nina Schwarz - Assistant professor at the faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation at the university of Twente, in Nederland. 
  • Tom Remijn- Master Environmental Management of the University of Amsterdam. 
  • Niel Kalpoe- Master Student at the Anton de Kom university SMNR “Sustainable Management of Natural Resources”


6. Physical health, stimulated by urban green

January 28, 2021 - Research in Suriname has shown the problematic prevalence of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, also in relation to obesity. A healthy lifestyle, which contributes to reducing these risks, especially physical activity, is increasingly being promoted. However, it is unclear to what extent there is equal access to sports and recreation facilities. Creating space for sports and recreation closer to the individual to stimulate active exercise can be a solution to this. According to the WHO, urban green can make an important contribution to promoting an active lifestyle and thus the health of people. In what ways can green spaces be designed and used in the city and in the neighborhoods to promote an active lifestyle?

Guest speakers:
  • Dr. Se-Sergio Baldew - Physiotherapist, teacher and researcher at the faculty of Medical sciences
  • Mr. Sergio Dias - Architect at BurtonHamfelt Urban Architecture in Amsterdam.

7. A healthy green environment for a livable city: "Biodiversity for our well-being."

March 4, 2021 - Urban areas can contain a rich flora and fauna that contributes significantly to a wide variety of biodiversity. However, habitat loss and isolation is the result of urban expansion that threatens biodiversity. Researchers and planners have begun to apply landscape ecological principles abroad to develop green networks and strengthen relationships between human and nature to preserve and restore biodiversity. What does a healthy urban biodiversity look like, what contribution does this make to society?



  • Mrs. Monique Pool - Director and founder of Green Heritage Fund Suriname foundation. 
  • Mr. Dominiek Plouvier- Director of ACT (Amazon Conservation Team) Europe.