48 Colombia, Ghana, Guyana, Liberia, and Trinidad and Tobago. In 2018, Kosmos plans to organize a series of media workshops in Suriname to deepen the knowledge of journalists regarding petroleum operations. We have held similar workshops in other countries and have found that this approach can help manage expectations around exploration drilling in addition to educating stakeholders and promoting transparency in the oil and gas sector. POSITIVE IMPACTS Although our drilling operations take place far offshore, Kosmos is committed to preserving the coastal environment and supporting coastal communities in Suriname. Mangroves grow abundantly along Suriname’s coastline and prevent coastal erosion. The area of Weg naar Zee, north of Paramaribo, has in recent years experienced frequent flooding and erosion due to the loss of mangrove forests. The flooding and rising sea levels have affected nearly 3,000 local community members, including artisanal fishermen, local farmers, and bee keepers. In addition, erosion has threatened to destroy two important cultural and religious sites. Kosmos has partnered with Conservation International and Anton de Kom University of Suriname on a multi-year project to mitigate the coastal erosion at Weg naar Zee by building Sediment Trapping Units (STUs). These structures promote sediment deposition and create conditions for halting and reversing erosion. Mangrove juveniles will be able to grow in the newly formed mud banks, both naturally and when planted by local researchers. The mangrove restoration project team now has over a year of data from which to evaluate the effectiveness of the STUs. Since the first phase of the project was successful in increasing sediment accretion rates and thus slowing erosion, the team has decided to expand the project by upgrading the existing STUs and engaging local community members to plant mangrove juveniles along the coast of Weg naar Zee. In addition to partnering with the university on mangrove conservation and research, Kosmos is also supporting STEM education by working closely with the local university’s geology department to evaluate their needs in terms of hands-on laboratory and field work. In 2017, we provided specialized geology lab equipment to the university, our second academic collaboration with the geology department since entering Suriname in 2012. Students will now be able to conduct more advanced laboratory experiments and research during their undergraduate and graduate studies on campus. Our hope is that the new field work and lab equipment will lead students to be more interested in, and better prepared for, future careers in the extractive sectors in Suriname. With rain forest covering approximately 94% of the national territory and a rich terrestrial biodiversity, Suriname is known as one of the greenest countries in the world. The Green Heritage Fund is a local NGO in Suriname dedicated to protecting biodiversity and raising awareness regarding national environmental issues. One of the Green Heritage Fund’s largest projects is the Xenarthra Program, which provides shelter, care, rehabilitation and release of sloths into the forests of Suriname. Kosmos is supporting the construction of an education and research center for the Xenarthra Program, where Green Heritage Fund staff will protect and rehabilitate sloths while simultaneously using the space to educate and raise awareness of the need for conservation of the species and others in Suriname. KOSMOS HAS SHOWN SINCE THE START OF ITS OPERATIONS IN SURINAME TO BE VERY COMMITTED TO HIGH INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS AND A VALUABLE PARTNER IN CAPACITY BUILDING IN TECHNICAL AND GEOLOGICAL EDUCATION IN SURINAME. PERSONALLY, HAVING WORKED IN THE EDUCATION SECTOR FOR OVER 20 YEARS, I WAS PARTICULARLY PLEASED WITH KOSMOS’ SAFETY CULTURE AWARENESS CAMPAIGN. THIS PROGRAM BENEFITED AROUND 2300 STUDENTS AND 300 TEACHERS AT NATIN, WHERE I WAS MANAGING DIRECTOR UNTIL NOVEMBER 2010. ALSO – AS THE MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES IS UPDATING THE GEOLOGICAL MAP OF SURINAME – WE WERE HAPPY TO SEE KOSMOS HELP REVITALIZE THE GEOLOGY DEPARTMENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SURINAME THROUGH NEW LABORATORY EQUIPMENT AND TRAINING. THE IMPROVED TECHNICAL EDUCATION IS MOTIVATING STUDENTS TO STUDY GEOLOGY AND NATURAL RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT. Dave Abeleven, Msc. Permanent Secretary of the Suriname Ministry of Natural Resources