Protecting the nature we all rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods
Boy wades through river

Community Conservation Program

© Cristina Mittermeier
 

Community forests are part of the most important timber production area called the “forest belt”. This area spans across the Mid-Region of Suriname, where most of the deforestation and degradation in the country occurs. To date, 2.7 million ha. has been designated as production forest. Through the Community Conservation Program (CCP) partnerships between the government, private sector, local communities and none-state actors is created to concentrate on climate smart management and production of community forest concessions in Suriname.

By 2025, CI wants to realize that the community forests in Suriname are providing “Nature for Climate” solutions. Community forests are part of the most important timber production area called the “forest belt”. This area spans across the Mid-Region of Suriname, where most of the deforestation and degradation in the country occurs. To date, 2.7 million ha. has been designated as production forest.

Children blowing up balloons
© Cristina Mittermeier

Climate Smart Management 

CCP concentrates on climate smart management and production of community forest concessions in Suriname, by creating partnerships between the government, private sector, local communities and non-state actors. The program started with a pilot project in 2017, in the biggest community forest belonging to the Matawai tribal community. Since then, CI and the community agreed that 40% of the 97,000 ha community forest functions as a community conservation area.

.

View into the lowlands from an outlook of Kasikasima, a unique granitic mountain formation that rises over 700 m above the rainforest in Suriname.
© Trond Larsen

Sustainable Landscape Approach (SLA) 

Now, with funding from the Dutch government, we are pioneering an innovated four-phased sustainable landscape approach (SLA) to address the increased deforestation and degradation in the Matawai community forest. Starting with a community mapping of ecosystem services, we determined a baseline of ecosystem indicators for co-designing specific policies and measures for protection or targeting drivers of deforestation and biodiversity loss with the Matawai community.

In 2020, the pilot project will result in a conservation agreement as delivery mechanism for the continued existence of the 39,000 ha community conservation area and the management of natural assets to ensure the provision of resources and environmental services for climate smart NTFP livelihood alternatives for 500 beneficiaries. Conservation actions in the Matawai community forest will result in the annual storage  and avoidance of respectively 31 Mt CO2e emissions and 15 Mt CO2e emissions.  Our goal is to expand this pilot program to help other communities protect 700K ha of their forests.