Suriname is one of the greenest countries in the world with more than 90% of the land surface covered by natural tropical rainforest, mainly found in the hinterlands. Its extensive tree cover is vital to the country's efforts to mitigate climate change and maintain carbon negativity. However, despite this significant mitigation function, as a country with high-poverty levels and a population heavily reliant on natural resources, the Surinamese are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change (increasing temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns, and rising sea level).

Suriname is also one of the least densely populated countries on earth with approximately 618,000 inhabitants. Most of the people live by the country's north coast, in and around its capital, Paramaribo. Indigenous people and Maroon tribes—descendants of Africans who fled Dutch plantations and established independent small settlements in the hinterland—representing respectively 4% and 21% of the total population, make up almost the entire population of the interior of Suriname, which stands as the most underdeveloped region in the country with hardly any presence of government institutions. The interior population is marginalized, and their livelihoods largely depend on natural resources, including forests.

The hinterlands have two conservation areas: the Brownsberg Nature Park (BNP) and the Central Suriname Nature Reserve (CSNR). BNP is the most accessible park and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Suriname. Brownsweg is a Maroon village of the Samaaka tribe community, which lies at the edge of the BNP, in the Brokopondo District. The CSNR is surrounded by Matawai community land, which has signed an agreement to conserve some 39,000 ha of the allocated community forest.

The main challenges facing these local communities include gold mining, which severely impacts the deforestation rate, soil erosion and contamination, river siltation and ecosystem damage, logging/wood trade practices, lack of livelihood alternatives and employment opportunities, and consequently strong migration to the capital Paramaribo with loss of social identity.

The present Intervention “Local Actors for Change in the Hinterland - LACH” has a global budget of EUR 943,726, with the contribution of the European Union (EU) amounting to EUR 849,292. The Intervention’s duration is 30 months, and it falls under the second action (Civil Society Organisations as actors of governance and development – work in the field) of the Multi-Annual Action Programme “Civil Society Organisations and Local Authorities” (MAAP 2018-2020). Likewise, the Intervention responds to the sole priority area - Forest Partnerships - of the Multi-annual Indicative Programme (MIP 2021-2027) for Suriname.

The implementing modality of the Intervention is direct management, in charge of the Foundation Conservation International Suriname (CIS) as Lead Partner, and with Amazon Conservation Team Suriname (ACT-S) as its Implementing Partner. Both organisations are co-applicants for Lot 1 (“Enhancing life in the hinterland”) of an open Call for Proposals.

The main sub-grantees of the Intervention are Foundation for Nature Conservation in Suriname (STINASU), which is the authority responsible for the management of the Brownsberg Nature Park (BNP), and the National Women´s Movement (NVB) in charge of gender affairs. Public Authorities such as the Planning Office, Ministry of Land Policy and Forest Management (GBB), the Ministry of Natural Resources (NH), Ministry of Regional Development and Sport (ROS), Ministry of Justice and Police (JusPol), and the Ministry of Education, Research and Culture (MINOWC) are key collaborators.