The upper Suriname River area is home to about 60 Maroon villages which combined have about 15,000 people that depend on the surrounding forests for their livelihood. Additionally this forest provides other ecosystem services of great importance for Suriname, such as the potential to store carbon (that supports the national REDD+ strategy). Insufficiently planned economic development in the area, such as expansion of roads and mines, may be at the cost of local livelihoods, wildlife and ecosystem services.
Sustainable use of community forests will contribute to the development of the hinterland communities in Suriname and long-term maintenance of the ecosystem services provided by these forests. The Ministry of Regional Development (RO) has the mandate to support regional and village development and improvement of livelihoods of the indigenous and maroon communities in the interior of Suriname and needed the tools and capacity to provide this support.
This project aims to utilize a sustainable forest management system that focuses on the tendering of potential crop trees, in preference to the CELOS management system (CMS). As a spin-off of the project, some of the CELOS (Centre for Agricultural Research in Suriname) experimental plots will be re-measured to show the long-term effects of CMS.
Suriname has expressed its preparedness to follow the recommendations of the UNFCCC decision calling on countries to prepare for, and implement activities, related to enhancement of forest carbon stocks and avoidance or reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), which account for approximately 15% of annual global emissions.
Until now the Suriname forest sector (both commercial loggers and community based forestry) lacks an appropriate set of rules and regulations for sustainable forest use and management.