Background of the MSC programme in SMNR
Suriname has an enormous potential in natural resources, but falls short in terms of their sustainable management. There is as yet no critical mass of human resources and knowledge available at academic, social and economic level to manage and valorize Suriname's natural resources in a sustainable way. On an international level, Suriname is not yet in a position to fulfill a leading role in the field of the management of natural resources. The above stated deficiencies are to a large extent the result of the lack of a MSc programme (following the 3-year BSc programme). A MSc programme constitutes an essential instrument to develop research capacity, and provides the basis for in-depth studies in technical and scientific domains. It creates possibilities for international exchange and the recruitment of national and international experts. As a result, Suriname should be in a position to gain its role as a full partner in international research consortia. AdeKUS has to some extent been able to develop research activities in various fields, which may function as building blocks for the MSc programme. There is established local expertise and interest in the field of research and education in a number of domains in natural resources management. However, this is of variable scientific level and output.
In March 2006 AdeKUS was selected to join the Institutional University Cooperation Programme (IUC) of VLIR-UOS (see www.iuc.vliruos.be). Within this framework, six projects were defined of which two projects deal with the sustainable management of natural resources:
Project 4 "Masters Education and Research Programme in Sustainable Management of Natural Resources" (technical), which covers three research themes: land and water resources, renewable energy, mineral resources, and
Project 5 "Masters Education and Research Programme in Sustainable Management of Natural Resources" (bio), which covers four research themes: biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, sustainable forestry and natural products.
On April 1, 2008, AdeKUS started a 10-year Institutional University Cooperation (IUC) with Flemish universities in Belgium, with technical, scientific and financial support of the Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DGDC) and the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-UOS). One of the main objectives of the VLIR-AdeKUS-IUC partner programme is to guide AdeKUS from a bachelor orientated university to an accredited MSc oriented research and education university, with maintaining a high standard of BSc education. In 2012, Project 4 and Project 5 were merged to one project, called Project 4-5 “Masters Education and Research Programme in Sustainable Management of Natural Resources”.
On June 27, 2017, Suriname Conservation Foundation (SCF) approved to fund the project “Education and Research Programme in Sustainable Management of Natural Resources" for the period 2018-2022.
The overall developmental goal is to contribute to, and improve knowledge and skills in Sustainable Management of Natural Resources in the fields of biodiversity, land and water resources, renewable energy resources and sustainable agriculture, resulting in the further development of society.