Suriname mining surge taxes primary forest


For much of the 20th century, life changed little for the Maroons along central Suriname’s Saramacca River. If there was little government presence, there was also little pressure from the outside world. The Maroons, descendants of formerly enslaved Africans, lived much as they had since escaping Dutch plantations in the 17th and 18th centuries. They hunted, fished and farmed amidst dense primary forests. But over the last three decades the arrival in their territory of Brazilian gold miners through French Guyana has altered age-old customs. As Maroons joined in the hunt for gold, huge swaths of forest were cleared to make way for artisanal mining involving the use of hydraulic pumps. Agricultural land was lost, too. And rivers were contaminated with effluents containing the... [Log in to read more]

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