Seasonal indicators for rapid detection of climate variability across Suriname

By 7th March 2024Publication, Whitepaper

Climate-related changes are occurring at a rate surpassing local communities’ adaptive capacity. These communities often rely on their traditional knowledge to navigate and adapt to the changing environment, using seasonal indicators and calendars. The study highlights and documents the local knowledge for detecting climate variability held by the citizens in seven districts of Suriname. Through participatory data collection and analysis, we identified 219 indicators that detect a wide range of changes in wind patterns, lightning occurrences, rainfall, water levels and quality, animal and plant phenology, and air and soil quality. Approximately one-third of these indicators were location-specific, exhibiting great detail and specialization. The study reveals a robust indicator system active across all participating urban, rural, or forested districts. It concludes that local knowledge may become a valuable resource for responding rapidly to the challenges posed by climate change in Suriname, a nation highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Assigned by Green Growth Suriname, Dr. Gwendolyn Smith, Chowenga Mawie en Jethro Karsters wrote a research paper on seasonal indicators for 7 districts in Suriname which was published in the Academic Journal of Suriname, Vol.14 No1. (2023).