Suriname - 19 December, 2023
Tropenbos Suriname (TBS) is currently involved in the execution of the Local Actors for Change in the Hinterland (LACH) Brownsweg project.
The project is carried out on behalf of Conservation International (CI) Suriname in collaboration with the Foundation for Nature Preservation in Suriname (STINASU). The purpose of this project is to mitigate the degradation of community forests and to produce a value chain for a non-timber forest product (NTFP) or a forest product per working area.
Local community and their view on climate change
The local community, with whom TBS is working at Brownsweg, district of Brokopondo, consists of Saamaka maroon people. The 15 participants in the project are all women, mostly single mothers, who need to bring food to the table to feed the children. They have experienced climate change in terms of drought and reduction of the production of cultivated crops.
Upon a visit at one of the participants’ field, it was sad to see that most of the crops had withered due to fire (Figure 1and 2). Her daughter had started a fire, which had had its effect on the crops. Burning of vegetation that has been removed to clear the field for agricultural purposes is common in this area as part of the traditional slash and burn system.
Photo 1. Withered crops Photo 2. Some of the remaining cassava plants
Furthermore, this participant was unknowingly subject to activities regarding exploitation of gold. The creek, that served as a water source for her crops had become very muddy and someone had dug a hole in her field in search of gold (Figure 3). She however, was told that the hole was dug in search of a water source.
Photo 3. Hole dug in agricultural field in search of gold
Opportunities for the community
Due to these circumstances STINASU has made 3-hectare land available for cultivation in the buffer zone of the Brownsberg Nature Park. TBS is in charge of introducing the agroforestry system to the participants and guiding them in these agricultural practices.