Región:Internacional | Tipo: Informe
This policy brief addresses the importance of institutional support in strengthening the governance traditional systems in parallel with securing land tenure rights for the Saamaka people.
The Saamaka people have inhabited the Upper Suriname River watershed inside the Amazon Forests for more than three centuries and their livelihoods are closely linked to the ecosystems of this region. Saamaka people have created a special knowledge composed of traditional practices and governance structures protecting the natural resources of the region. For this reason, since their existence as a Maroon tribe they have undertaken a struggle to claim their rights to be free people in their territory and protect it, living between abundance of natural resources and scarcity of secure livelihoods (Vereniging van Saamakaaanse Gezagsdragers, 2023). Currently, the Saamaka territory is suffering the consequences of the aggressive impact of, often illegal economies related to the extraction of natural resources in Suriname. It is crucial for the effectiveness of the land tenure rights of the Saamaka people, that the titling process is accompanied by efforts to enhance local and traditional governance systems to promote visibility, and to strengthen and legitimize decision-making customary processes that assure the future of the Saamaka territory and its inhabitants.