News / 3 juli 2024

Illegal logging is devastating Suriname's forest: The Saamaka and their fight against deforestation

The Saamaka people of Suriname have long resisted the government's violation of their land rights. Despite a 2007 ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) against such violations, the government continues to grant logging and mining concessions on Saamaka territory without free prior and informed consent (FPIC). New report shows this has led to deforestation, land dispossession, and disruption of their livelihoods. A recent example includes a 42.7 km road built through their lands for logging access.

The IACHR ruling mandated the government to collaborate on mapping Saamaka territory, but the 2013 map presented by the Saamaka and CELOS remains unimplemented. Over 447,000 hectares of Saamaka land have been conceded, causing significant forest loss. Despite international commitments, Suriname's government ignores the IACHR's binding judgement and its own pledges to protect forests and recognise Indigenous rights.

This negligence perpetuates deforestation and undermines tribal livelihoods, highlighting the urgent need for accountability. We call for resistance and legal actions, international advocacy, and strengthened land governance to address these ongoing violations. Sign the petition to protect the Saamaka.

> Download the report

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