WWF Guianas together with NGO ‘Stichting SORTS Suriname’ and MAP organized a five day Guianas Regional Mangrove Ecosystems training workshop in Coronie, Suriname, immediately after the MM workshop.  Over 25 participants from Suriname, Guyana and French Guyana attended the training representing NGOs, government, universities, local communities and entrepreneurs, CSOs and the private sector.

The training started with a 3-day  ‘Marvellous Mangrove’ session run by Martin Keeley for 24 students from four different disciplines – Economics, Environmental Science, Mining and Agriculture – at Anton de Kom University. This is the first time this kind of interdisciplinary ecological training has taken place in Suriname. Ms. Joan Telget of the Mangrove Forum, who organised the group, said this kind of exposure is essential for students so they understand the function and structure of ecological systems.

Key to this part of the coast is the overwhelmingly powerful NW migration of vast mudbanks from the Amazon River outflow, along the coast of the Guianas. These banks, sometimes 50km long by 2-5km wide move at between 1-3km a year. They either protect or expose the coast from Atlantic storms.

Taking this mudbank migration into account, the CBEMR training emphasized community participation from the outset, facilitating natural regeneration and working with nature, not fighting against it. As a lack of livelihood options is often a cause of mangrove destruction, the group saw some non-destructive livelihood options including coconut oil and honey production.