Green Growth Suriname and Satelligence extend forest Satellite Monitoring

A recent study into tech-assisted forest governance found that technology based forest monitoring could lead to a 51% decrease in deforestation in the first year and a 21% decrease the following year. The study was published by the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences and aimed to compare communities who had shifted to tech-based approach to those who had not. The implication being that a shift to tech monitoring offers a low cost, high return strategy for combating climate change.

Green Growth Suriname (GGS) is dedicated to introducing innovative ways to support forest governance. Suriname’s forest cover is experiencing increasing pressure through logging, goldmining and infrastructure. The nation’s objective is to remain the most forested country on earth by balancing development and conservation.

In its role to help build forest governance, GGS teamed up with Satelligence in 2019 to monitor loss of forest cover through satellite data from multiple satellites as input in the so-called logging approved production area of the country (25% of land surface). Satelligence uses artificial intelligence to do cloud-based processing of radar and optical satellite images to ensure optimum information density.

After a pilot year, GGS is now happy to announce that they will continue to work with Satelligence for an additional two years increasing the monitoring area to cover the entire country.


Satelligence shares their satellite data with Surinamese governance institutes, while a summary of the data is regularly shared with the public via a webseries called Busi Taki. Since 2020, citizens have been armed with the means to help slow the country’s rates of deforestation. Via the citizen science application Green Growth Forests they can take pictures of illegal logging or deforestation sites and upload these in the app. Using Green Growth Forests, we were able to identify cases of deforestation outside of our original scope, and thus we saw the need to increase our area of operations in the country.

With this new initiative, we aim to support the Government with an extra data set and at the same time empower tribal and indigenous communities to protect the pristine land that they call home. Our tech will provide them with new insights into the health of their forests and avoid encroachment. The communities that live there are uniquely equipped to do so as they provide supply-chain monitoring efforts with much needed “eyes on the ground”. Through a combination of ancient indigenous knowledge and cutting-edge tech, GGS foresees a comprehensive effort to manage the rainforest, which is becoming increasingly important for human life on our planet.