Location: Paramaribo, Suriname
The Green Heritage Fund Suriname was established by Monique Pool with a clear vision: to create a society of people who work towards the continued improvement of their environment and to promote a green, clean and healthy Suriname. GHFS funds activities that educate and empower the people of Suriname to make balanced decisions about sustainable development and biodiversity preservation.
In 2005, an abandoned baby sloth was entrusted to Monique, igniting a curiosity for the Xenarthra. This led to a program which protects and preserves the Xenarthra (including sloths, armadillos, and anteaters) and their habitat by means of shelter, rehabilitation, education and information. Orphaned and distressed animals are temporarily accommodated and released back into the wild when appropriate. Currently, GHFS is looking for an eco-resort or village to host a larger Xenarthra shelter.
GHFS’ Dolphin program also started in 2005. What began as regular informal outings to the Suriname river soon developed into a community-based research and monitoring activity for the Profusu (the Surinamese dolphin). Under the guidance of GHFS, ordinary citizens were trained to track and document the Profusu, while GHSF consolidated the material for research purposes. Growing attention for the Profusu and training of local residents laid the groundwork for Suriname’s dolphin tourism industry. Currently, dolphin tourism yields one million dollars in direct and indirect income. This also profits others at Leonsberg, such as local fishermen and small restaurants.
While encouraged, Monique is focused on transforming the Surinamese mindset when it comes to nature; “Tour operators have to develop a long-term vision for dolphin tourism to be sustainable. We have to respect the dolphins and their habitat first.”
Measurement: Green Heritage Fund Suriname
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