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.
Although there are provisions in the Forest Management Act, bylaws and guidelines to promote Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), the sustainability of timber harvesting and forest use (both commercial and at community level) is still hard to assess. Formulating and implementing a Code of Practice (CoP) will provide a 'reference' for sustainability, offering both commercial loggers and forest based communities clear and practical guidelines for timber harvesting operations and offering the authorities a tool for enforcing and monitoring SFM. Together with the earlier Tropenbos Suriname project on the ‘definition of legality’ (2007) this CoP creates a solid base for (step wise) full SFM certification.
This project resulted in the formulation of a first draft of the CoP and will, based on practice, gradually develop and replace present guidelines and bylaws. The project distinguishes the following phases of which the first three are completed within the present cooperation between Tropenbos Suriname and the Foundation for Forest Management and Production Control (SBB):
- Agreement among partners and stakeholders on the project, process and expected product(s); the 'kick-off' workshop,
- Based on desk research, national, regional and international literature review; the formulation of a first draft of the CoP,
- The identification of 'knowledge gaps', guiding the need for additional field research and practical scale testing, and
- The enactment of the first draft and successive versions of the CoP.
- Communication, capacity building and extension/awareness are core issues during the whole formulation process.
Both commercial loggers and forest dependent communities will directly benefit from improved forest management. Not only does a 'workable' CoP ensure sustainable resource use, it may also create new possibilities for improved livelihoods and poverty alleviation.
The objective of the project is the formulation of a draft national Code of Practice for sustainable forest management and forest utilization, based on all relevant national legislation and international treaties, concepts of the CELOS Management System and the results of the previous Tropenbos Suriname definition of 'legality' project (2007).