TBI Suriname works towards the application of information to change policies and improve landscape-level practices regarding productive landscapes and forest product chains, mainly timber, in the forest belt of northern Suriname and the Upper Suriname River Area.
With 93 % forest cover, Suriname is the greenest country in the world. 13 % of the land consists of protected areas. The tropical rainforest is home to a large variety of flora and fauna and provides livelihoods for ten Indigenous and Maroon tribes who inhabit the scarcely populated hinterlands. The forest sector contributes with less than 2% to the GDP, with the economy largely depending on gold and oil. Land tenure rights are not yet formalized for the Indigenous and Maroon people.
In Suriname, the small population size has long implicated relatively low pressure on its forests. However, in recent years, increasing small-scale gold mining and conventional logging, and lack of spatial planning and zoning have led to threats of deforestation, forest degradation and pollution. Suriname is unique in the sense that it is still in an early stage of the forest transition curve and with the small population size has the opportunity to curb current destructive activities and transit towards a sustainable path of growth.
TBI Suriname has a vital role to play in this endeavour, profiling itself as a knowledge-based organisation and contributing to evidence-based policies and practices. Using research as a basis for generating and sharing knowledge, informing decisions and strengthening capacities of organizations and individuals.
What we do
- Generate and share knowledge through research, dialogue and capacity strengthening
- Contribute to sound land use planning by empowering local communities, sharing their perceptions and providing participatory planning tools.
- Generate and share research-based knowledge on ecosystem services, development trade-offs and forest product chains.
- Support sustainable village development through research and capacity strengthening
- Enhance multi-level dialogue and mutual understanding between stakeholders, decision- and policy makers on issues and findings in the forest landscape.
- Contribute to nature education and awareness of youth
- Communicate and advocate findings, experiences and lessons through relevant platforms, such as the Civil Society network for Participation and Good Governance.
Tropenbos International works in Suriname through its local network partner Tropenbos Suriname.
Tropenbos International has been operational in Suriname since 2003. Since 2005 Tropenbos Suriname became a legal national entity of Suriname and in 2017 a member of the Tropenbos International network.
In recent years TBI in Suriname has built the capacities of the people of the Saamaka Maroon tribe in the Upper Suriname River Basin and supported them in making detailed three-dimensional (3D) maps of their territories, including references to the availability and use of forest-ecosystem goods and services. These maps are used in negotiations with authorities about land planning issues. Capacity of forest managers and local communities was strengthened with the tailor-made course on Village Development. The manual 'Sustainable Forest Management for Village Development' published by TBI Suriname is used by the Ministry of Regional Development in its programmes throughout Suriname. TBI engagement in the National REDD+ Readiness programme focused on forest-dependent livelihoods as a vehicle for sustainable use of the forest and for the success of REDD+.