The Green Heritage Fund Suriname was established in October 2005 and is a charitable nonprofit. The Foundation was established because the founding members felt that the image of Lucia (Bradypus tridactylus) should not be used commercially. We also believed that a non-profit charity could reinvest all earnings in programs that would help improve the fate of wild animals.
Thus, the Foundation’s first program was born, the Xenarthra Program. The second initiative of the Foundation is the Dolphin Program. In 2005 a group of friends began to make regular trips in the Suriname River Estuary stopping at the beach of Braamspunt. Over time these outings developed into a regular volunteer research and monitoring activity. These also helped to encourage dolphin tourism which yields benefits for the local community.
Our mission is moving all Surinamers to make wise decisions for the sustainable use of our natural resources. GHFS currently runs 4 programs, which seek to ensure sustainable development of Suriname’s natural resources and biodiversity.
Ivette Adams – Board Chair and Secretary
Ivette Adams is the founding partner of Icana N.V., a business that opened its doors in 1993. The goal of Icana has been to support and promote different arts and crafts from Suriname thus creating opportunities for Maroons, Indigenous Peoples and other craftsmen in Suriname. Working with the principle ‘people, planet, profit’ in mind, in Icana’s business dealings the welfare of mankind and of the earth always comes first. Ivette is an active member of Soroptimist International Club Paramaribo and also active in the Inner Wheel of Suriname. For the latter she was actively involved for many years in raising awareness for breast cancer.
Kurt Burkhard – Treasurer
Kurt Burkhard has been on the board of the Green Heritage Fund Suriname from the beginning. Kurt is an entrepreneur with a passion for cars and cleaning and is founding partner of Carwatch N.V. and Cleanit N.V. He is a member of the Suriname Manufacturers Association. Kurt was a member of the Round Table Suriname for many years and has been an active member of the Sailing Club of Suriname.
Monique Nouh Chaia – Deputy Treasurer
Monique is a founding board member of the Green Heritage Fund Suriname. Since 1989 she has worked in the family business that is organized under the managerial and administrative umbrella of Caribbean Investment Group NV. Under that umbrella she bears part of the responsibility for managing Readytex NV, Katwijk NV, Micro Markt NV, Carimega NV, Ricochet NV. With a passion for people, creativity, reinvention, knowledge and growth she has also held board positions in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Stichting Toerisme Suriname (Suriname Tourism Board), and the Suriname Lebanese Association. Her life’s work has been the promotion of Surinamese craft, visual art and artists nationally and internationally which has resulted in a highly successful Art Gallery that is unique in its kind in Suriname.
Luzmila Samson – Member
Since 1992 Luzmila has been the Managing Director at Sampa Suriname NV, a family business specializing in Office Furniture, from which position she recently retired. For many years Luzmila has been one of the regular photographers for the Dolphin Research and Monitoring Program of the GHFS. She was an active member of Quota International Suriname and the National Art Fair for many years.
According to Article 4.5 of the Articles of Association, the members of the Board should not enjoy any financial benefits from the foundation. The board is, however, authorized to allocate for special or extensive activities that are performed for the fulfillment of the board duties, a reasonable compensation. A Secretariat, headed by one director, was established to implement the decisions of the board and conducting the day-to-day management over the activities of the foundation.
The board will meet as often as the Chairman, or at least two members of the board deem necessary, in addition to the annual meeting in which the annual report is approved.
The work of Green Heritage Fund Suriname focuses mainly on the coastal zone and the marine area. The sloths and anteaters we rescue come from urban areas. The dolphins, sea turtles and manatees are mainly found in the river estuaries and in the coastal zone. In addition, the communities we work with for our educational activities are also found mainly in the coastal zone. We cooperate with environmental organizations that work in the interior of Suriname and support their work in any way we can.
The GHFS logo is symbolic of what we work to protect.
- Map of Suriname with location of largest nature reserve the Central Suriname Nature Reserve, and coastal species such as the Guiana dolphin and Sea Turtles, to show that our work covers the whole of Suriname and also the marine realm.
- The biodiversity that can be found in Suriname, including humans, who only leave a footprint, and nothing else behind.
- The cultural values expressed with traces left behind by the earliest inhabitants of Suriname, such as petroglyphs and their knowledge of Surinamese natural resources. The forest and the water are dynamic, but these natural sacred spaces remain and also pass on information. The flowing water gives us the idea of time, both the current, past and the future.
- Two important natural sites in Suriname, Tafelberg and Voltzberg, exemplary for the pristine forests of Suriname, a country that has the highest per capita forest cover in the world.