The objective of this study was to document procedures and collect data on the "conventional" logging systems generally used in concessions in Suriname, and compare them against "planned" forest harvesting in which the distinct phases of the harvesting operation are carefully planned in an effort to improve efficiency, increase wood utilisation, and reduce environmental impacts.
The findings of this study should also motivate the development of a regional code of forest harvesting practice or a national code of practice for Suriname. Such codes of practice can provide a framework for adoption of reduced-impact harvesting in areas where existing laws and regulations are insufficient. It is widely recognised that reduced-impact forest harvesting is an essential prerequisite for sustainable forest management.
In order to meet the objectives of the case study, a concession holder who was willing to host the study and to apply planned harvesting on a trial basis was identified by the Foundation for Forest Management and Production Control (SBB), the agency within Suriname responsible for managing and supervising timber concessions. Concession 387, which is currently held by Mr Doerga, was chosen to serve as the study site. Mr Doerga is one of the numerous small concession holders serving the local timber market in Suriname and having logging experience over many years.
The production rates and costs of the conventional and planned harvesting systems were estimated through work and time studies carried out on adjacent 10-ha study plots. Environmental impacts associated with harvesting were measured through post-harvest assessments.