Participatory Mapping, Ecosystem Service Assessment, and Resilience Against Climate Change


Participatory Mapping, Ecosystem Service Assessment, and Resilience Against Climate Change

Hinterland villages are a typical component of a productive landscape: a forested area where several activities occur at the same time. Apart from the living area of villages, there are activities such as, agriculture, collection of forest products, hunting and fishing, logging, tourism, mining, and infrastructural works. The hinterland villages are still mainly focusing on subsistence, despite the fact that there are income generation opportunities in light of sustainable development of the area. This implies that in developing the area, serious considerations have to be given to the causes and consequences of climate change. Within the traditional knowledge of the local communities who are strongly dependent on nature, there are ways how to recognize and how to cope with the effects of climate changes.

However, with the increasing need for development of the area in a time where the problems involving climate change become more urgent, traditional knowledge alone and the actual capacity of the community do not suffice.
Often, there are opportunities which the community cannot achieve due to lack of technical and organizational capacity, a strategic network, specific technology transfer, and guidance. Also, there may be unidentified opportunities of which the people are unaware. For example, to make the transition from subsistence agriculture to sustainable income generation, or to use traditional customs as an input for income generation in cultural nature tourism.

During an inception meeting in the first phase of the project Tropenbos Suriname and the Centre for Agricultural Research in Suriname (CELOS) will approach the traditional authorities and the population of the village of Pikin Slee, Upper Suriname River area to become engaged in the project where a vulnerability assessment is made of the community in a participatory manner. Free, Prior, and Informed consent (FPIC) procedures will be followed. Both Tropenbos Suriname and CELOS have had contact with the village due to previous and current project activities. A second meeting will be organized to provide the community with time to respond to the processed information. Upon consent data collection will take place in a participatory manner. Following the Global Climate Change Alliance guidelines, a vulnerability assessment will be conducted in the village. The collected data and information will be processed and organized to list initial opportunities for sustainable income generation. The listing of opportunities will be discussed and prioritized with the community. Based on this analysis a strategy for two income generating activities will be developed. Together with the community a work plan will be developed to jointly implement the activities to achieve two ways of sustainable income generation. All information will be compiled into a report and the project findings will be discussed with the local people, traditional leaders, and policy makers.

Duration: May 2017 – November 2018

The main objective is to conduct a multi-disciplinary assessment, gathering information about the history, the socio-economy, and soils, vegetation and agricultural practices including forest based practices. Based on scoring methods and focus group discussions priorities will be set to which measures can be taken to improve the agricultural slash-and-burn system in order to increase resilience against climate changes and to generate sustainable income.