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Suriname

  • Total forest area: 147,760 km²
  • Estimated deforestation per year: 325 km²
  • Population: 458,000 (UN, 2007)
  • Forest cover: 90.2%

Suriname, formerly Dutch Guiana, is one of South America's smallest countries. A population of less than half a million live mainly in the capital and coastal cities. With extensive forest cover, Suriname has one of the lowest deforestation rates in the world.

Only 5% of the population lives in the rainforest; this includes indigenous peoples and six tribes of Maroons - descendants of escaped slaves who recreated forest communities centuries ago and retain their traditional West African lifestyle.

The biggest threat to the rainforest is mercury pollution due to small scale mining.

(Sources: Conservation International, FAO, mongabay.com, Oxford University Environmental Change Institute, UN, WWF)
 
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