Abstract # 13195 Poster # 85:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 9, 2018 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Chula Vista ) Poster Presentation


THE SURINAME FOREST FRAGMENTS PROJECT (SFFP): ENGAGING WITH A RURAL COMMUNITY TO PRESERVE FORESTS IN NORTHERN SOUTH AMERICA

M. A. Norconk1, C. Landburg2, A. Vreedzaam2, S. Atsalis3, L. Doest4, P. Fer5, K. Gunputsing5, R. Lang4, S. Milan4, N. Nazir4 and D. Obergh4
1Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA, 2Foundation for Environmental Awareness, Research and Training, 3University of Chicago, 4Anton de Kom University, 5Advanced Teachers Training Institute
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     The rural district of Wanica, Suriname, harbors a large number of forest fragments ranging in size from < 1 to > 500 ha, but the need for their protection is increasing with human migration from the adjacent capital of Paramaribo. The SFFP began in 2017 to work with the community, design plans to protect fragments and improve their connectivity. In Phase I of the project, we mapped 10 fragments (< 1h to 50ha), recorded presence of primates (Saimiri sciureus, Alouatta macconnelli, Saguinus midas and Sapajus apella), and estimated distance to nearest fragment. Here we report the results of Phase II, a survey of fragment owners (N = 18) and neighbors (N = 33), to gather historical data and determine their willingness to participate in the project. Three-quarters of respondents reported that forest fragments have decreased in size “over time” and more than 80% have “plans” to cut more forest. However, 55.6% “walk in the forest” occasionally or often, and 50% identified an emotional attachment to the forest. Most owners (70%) were willing to establish corridors if neighbors consented. While <10% of neighbors reported emotional attachment to the forest, 67% supported the concept of forest corridors. Future work includes mapping potential corridors via satellite imaging, implementing community education programs, and helping residents develop a sustainable forest protection plan. Funded by Fulbright Scholars grant to M. Norconk.