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In Suriname a few activities are crucial to adequately control and regulate the trade in wildlife and plants. One of these activities involves the improvement of the implementation of effective wildlife and plant trade control and management in Suriname.

Momentarily, the controlling system of the Nature Conservation Division consists of giving permits and licenses, and inspection of legal export shipments at the national and international level (mainly for fauna). However, since establishment, the controlling system still remains on the same level. Presently, the Nature Conservation Division is unable to process and analyse trade data in a timely manner, therefore making up-to-date information on the trade unavailable to policy makers, resource managers, and the scientific community. Due to limitations in staffing, training, equipment and facilities, effective implementation of wildlife trade and plant trade controls at the national level is at a minimum. Also, the co-operation between implementation and enforcement agencies, officers, and other agencies is limited.

The consultant recommends the following activities for the development and collection of regular statistical data on NWFP:

Meeting the needs of the Nature Conservation Division for equipment and staff facilities in the headquarters and in the field, to ensure an adequate level of services, inspections, and other enforcement activities (such as regular patrols in the field to detect and stop illegal cross-border trade, monitor national and international trade, and inspect hunting licenses and enforce the Game law and the Law on Forest Management and/or other wildlife-related trade laws and regulations).

Computerization of the export quota system of the Nature Conservation Division. This system was created to regulate the export of fauna.

Establish a cooperation between the Suriname Forest Service, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Customs regarding the exportation of NWFP.

Provide specialized training on wildlife and plant trade control, enforcement, trade management techniques, and other technical aspects within the Nature Conservation Division, together with police authorities, military police, customs (airport/border security), National Scientific Institutions and others.

Encourage national level cooperation between agencies responsible for the management and enforcement of wildlife and plant trade controls.

Conduct an inventory on the presence of NWFP businesses in Suriname. This should be done in close cooperation with the Suriname Forest Service in order to update their databank.

Develop methods for sustainable exploitation of NWFP, especially the plant-based products.

Develop a bioprospecting program to search for alternatives of currently used NWFP.

Preserve the knowledge of tribal communities with regards to NWFP, especially that on plant-based products.

The above mentioned activities will ensure that wildlife trade control and management initiatives will be increasingly effective and efficient in the future. It is up to now that the Suriname Forest Service, specifically the Nature Conservation Division, grants permits for the collection of NWFP. It also regulates the export of fauna with the export quota system. The Ministry of Trade and Industry grants permits for NWFP. Customs see to it that all exporters comply with the terms or requirements of their permits.

Organizations involved with the utilization of NWFP especially the medicinal plants are Conservation International in Suriname and Odany Jewa. Odany Jewa is a house of medicine and healing which produces pure rainforest healing products. Until now Odany Jewa produces 75 medicines extracted of NWFP on the market, in which their utilization procedures and quantities are unknown. Conservation International in Suriname is an organization, which tries to give support to young indigenous people studying the utilization of NWFP from older medicine man thus ensuring that invaluable knowledge of rain forest plants is passed from tribal elders to the next generation.

Also of great importance is the awareness about the value and importance of biodiversity conservation on a national level. First of all this requires all the political will and support of the government, because the importance of biodiversity conservation to a national sustainable development must be recognized throughout the government, from the highest levels downwards. Public acceptance of wildlife trade controls and management will require a greater understanding of the value of biodiversity conservation to the national economy and to specific sectors and to individual stakeholders.

The main obstacles eco-tourism faces are existing infrastructures (road, river, air), competition with government owned tourism operators and transport-operators and custom-services.

In order to aid tourism planners and managers, so that they can anticipate and prevent impacts of tourism, the following steps should be taken:

Define and establish carrying capacity guidelines for the destinations;

Develop tools called environmental indicators that can provide information on the healthiness and viability of destinations.

Finally, tourism could contribute as a source of income to the economy, however better management is required in order to prevent permanent damage to the fragile ecosystems as well as the undermining of the unique cultural diversity.


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