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The Republic of Suriname, more commonly known as Suriname or Surinam, (formerly known as Netherlands Guiana and Dutch Guiana) is a country in northern South America, in between French Guiana to the east and Guyana to the west. The southern border is shared with Brazil and the northern border is the Atlantic coast. The most southern parts of the borders with Guyana and French Guiana are disputed (upper Corantijn and Marowijne rivers—the map shows the Guyana and Guiana versions of the border).
Suriname is the smallest independent country in South America. It is situated on the Guiana Shield, the highest point being the Julianatop (1,286 m above sea level). The land can be artificially divided into two parts. The northern, coastal area has been cultivated, and most of the population lives here. The southern part consists of sparsely inhabited tropical rainforest.
Lying near the equator, the climate in Suriname is tropical, and temperatures do not vary a lot throughout the year. The year has two rainy seasons, from December to early February and from late April to mid-August.
Located in the northeast portion of the country is the W.J. van Blommesteinmeer, a large reservoir lake, created in 1964 by a dam (Brokopondo project). The dam was built to provide electricity for the bauxite mining industry (which consumes about 75 percent of the output) and for domestic consumption.