Crédits UNDP Suriname
Publié sur mai 2, 2023

Engaging with Traditional Tribal Leaders in Suriname

The Traditional Tribal Leaders came together in a krutu (traditional meeting) in Suriname at the Jan Starke Opleidingscentrum, Zanderij 1, during the weekend of 11-13 November 2022.

Picture 1: Krutu started with a traditional prayer, lead by 3 Traditional Leader (Photo by PMU JP LNOB)


The krutu was organized by the Samenwerkingsverband van Tribale volken in Suriname (Collaboration of Tribal Peoples in Suriname consisting of the Kwinti, Aluku, Matawai, Paamaka, Okanisi and Saamaka, (KAMPOS)) with support from the Programme Management Unit of the Joint Programme Leaving No One Behind, Building Resilience, and Improving Livelihoods of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (ITPs) in Suriname (JP LNOB), and was meant to engage the traditional leaders.

The JP LNOB is intended to address the multi-dimensional vulnerabilities of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Suriname through an overarching, integrated policy framework aimed at improving the quality of life for ITPs. This is all in-line with the “Leave No One Behind” principle and contributes to the achievement and acceleration of SDGs 1, 2, 5, 16 and 17.

The engagement is meant to create awareness by informing the traditional leaders about JP LNOB and create interest in their participation in the policy development process aiming at strengthened policies and intervention framework to improve inclusion and resilience.

A similar engagement exercise was organized by the Association of Indigenous Village Leaders in Suriname (VIDS) during their eight-policy meeting at Washabo in August 2022.

Addresses and presentations were made by various partners of the JP LNOB.

Mr. Mavrick Boejoekoe, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Regional Development and Sport (Min RO&S), addressed the traditional leaders and explained the role of his ministry as technical counterpart ministry. He remained with the group and participated in the dialogues.

Figure 2 Presentation of the JP LNOB by Mr. Ruben Martoredjo (Photo by PMU JP LNOB)


Mr. Ruben Martoredjo, Programme Officer for Social Development of UNDP, gave an extensive presentation of the JP, using blend of local languages Dutch and Sranan Tongo, to ensure that the information is well understood. Mr. Martoredjo also elaborated on the role of UNDP as technical lead of the JP and other programmatic activities  in the country. He remained with the group and participated in the dialogues and plenary workshop sessions, which was highly valued by both KAMPOS and the traditional leaders.

Information was also given, regarding the mandates and activities of the UN Participating Organisations (PUNOs) such as, UNFPA, UNWomen, FAO) and their role in the JP LNOB.  

Mr. John Abidie, Acting Head of the department of Water Provision, of the Ministry of Natural Resources, made a presentation on the situation of water provision in the various Indigenous and Tribal communities.

Extensive dialogue took place where the traditional leaders present had all the space to raise questions and or concerns and share their view on their view related to their position those of the communities, with focus on socio economic condition and basic services. 

Concluding from the responses and feedback, the krutu had given the traditional leaders information needed to understand the JP, and what is expected from them, but moreso that they had received all the space to raise their questions and concerns, share their criticism but also their ideas and vision. 

Figure 3 Ms. Renatha Simson, Director of KAMPOS, facilitated the plenary working sessions (Photo by PMU JP LNOB)



Ruben Martoredjo, Programme Officer: ruben.martoredjo [at]

Website: UNDP in Suriname