From left to right in the picture: Mrs Deel, Surinamese Consul in French Guiana; Mr Fereira, 1st Vice-President of the CTG; Mr de Lacoste, French Ambassador in Surinam; Mr Lotigie, Sub-prefect of Saint Laurent du Maroni; Mrs Charles, Mayor of Saint Laurent du Maroni; Mrs Bradley, Permanent Secretary for International Cooperation of the Surinamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr Le Clair, Attorney of the French Republic.
The second Maroni River Council "new formula" was held on July 6 in Saint Laurent du Maroni. As a local consultative body, this council is a privileged space for dialogue to promote cooperation between Suriname and French Guiana. Created in 2009, it was restructured in 2022.
Hosted at Saint Laurent town hall, the delegations from each country were led respectively by Mr Christophe Lotigie, sub-prefect of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, and Ms Elizabeth Bradley, representative of Suriname's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The many elected officials, representatives of Guyanese and Surinamese institutions and local authorities present exchanged views on four cross-border issues: the economy, the environment, social issues and security.
- Waste management, with the Territorial Collectivity of French Guiana (CTG) emphasizing its cross-border collaboration aimed at mutualizing means and joint waste valorization.
- The transition towards responsible mining, with open dialogue on the pressures and consequences of gold mining on the Maroni and opportunities for joint work in this area.
- A shared vision for the development of hydrological jumps along the Maroni River.
At the request of the event organizers, the BIO-PLATEAUX project was presented under the perspective of "Flood prevention". While reminding participants that the general objective of the project is to strengthen integrated water resource management (IWRM) in all its aspects (through the prefiguration of a joint Observatory, territorial coordination, river basin planning and the enhancement of knowledge), this presentation was also an excellent opportunity to share the achievements of the hydrology and risk prevention component of the project:
- The creation of a cross-border technical group on flooding, bringing together Guyanese and Surinamese experts.
- The promotion of technical and political territorial dialogue, with the signature in 2021 of a transboundary technical partnership framework agreement.
- Sharing knowledge through the www.bio-plateaux.org platform.
- Hydrological monitoring through the publication and distribution of bilingual hydrological bulletins.
- Strengthening the network of hydrological monitoring instrumentation on the Maroni River.
- Promoting research and innovation in this field (spatial hydrology in particular).
The ambition of phase II of BIO-PLATEAUX is to further develop the technical work initiated in the first phase, such as flood management, by moving towards joint river basin planning & the prefiguration of a transboundary observatory: a management tool for the water resources of the Maroni and Oyapock rivers.