Partly achieved by means of the nature conservation commission Suriname received her first nine (9) nature reserves, four (4) along the coast and five (5) inside the country. Until 1975, the selection of these areas took place under the presence of nature and landscapes and /or important flora, fauna and cultural and geological objects.
After 1975, the selection of areas was based on a thorough inventory and mapping of ecosystems. During the years 1974-1977 a comprehensive inventory of ecosystems took place in the coastal plain and the savanna belt place which was conducted by Drs. Peter Teunissen. Based on this assessment and established criteria, six (6) areas were indentified eligible for the status of nature reserve and four (4) areas for the status of forest reserves. In the selection, however, it was not always possible to avoid the local communities claiming their "traditional" rights and interests of the areas. Therefore it is explicitly included in the nature conservation law of 1986 that the nearby living locals in tribal life will maintain their "traditional" rights and interests in the newly set nature reserve.
Currently Suriname has 16 protected areas: 11 nature reserves, 4 Multiple Use Management areas (MUMA’s) and 1 Nature Park. These are: 5 nature reserves in the coastal area (Galibi, Wia Wia, Coppename estuary, Peruvia and Hertenrits), 4 MUMA’s in the coastal area, 3 nature reserves on the border of the old coastal plain and the savanna belt (Wane creek, Copi, Upper Coesewijne) and 3 nature reserves and 1 nature park in the interior (nature reserve Brinckheuvel, the Central Suriname Nature Reserve, the Sipaliwini Nature Reserve and Brownsberg Nature Park).
Out of the 11 nature reserves the CSNR (Central Suriname Nature Reserve) is the largest and the Hertenrits is the smallest. Below you will see a list with descriptions of all that nature reserves.
Suriname also has 3 hemispheric sites. That means they house more than 500,000 birds during the year in the area. These are: Wia Wia Nature Reserve, Coppenameriver estuary reserve and the Bigi Pan management area.