Trio Community and Universities Join Forces to Monitor Forests

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The 2016 fieldwork for ACT’s joint project with the University of Utrecht and Surinamese universities is right around the corner. Since 2015, in southern Suriname, ACT has been conducting research in the Trio indigenous village of Kwamalasamutu, focusing on topics defined by the community. The on-the-ground research is conducted by ACT-trained indigenous park guards (IPGs) together with students from a Dutch partner, the University of Utrecht, and local partners the Center for Agricultural Research in Suriname (CELOS), Suriname’s national herbarium (BBS), as well as Suriname’s national forest management agency (SBB) and its nature conservation division (NB).

This year, we will continue the measurements initiated in 2015, which you can read about here and here. Following last year’s work setting up two plots within the National Forest Inventory (NFI) program, a third plot will be initiated. Student and indigenous researchers will measure biomass and carbon provision in the plot, calculated from the measured trees and soil sampling. The project will follow up on last year’s measurements of tasi (a palm species whose leaves are frequently used by villagers as roofing materials), which should lead to the drafting of harvesting guidelines this year. An inventory of common macro-fungi and fungi-like bromeliads (epiphytes) in the NFI plots will provide a picture of the current health of the forest and organic matter breakdown. In addition, wildlife recordings will once again be conducted within a 5km and 10km radius from Kwamalasamutu. These measurements will yield long-term insight into the availability of protein for food security.

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