Central Suriname Nature Reserve
Suriname, Inscribed in  2000
Criteria : ix, x

Central Suriname Nature Reserve

Learn more about the state of conservation of this natural World Heritage site by scrolling down to read assessment summaries.More details can be found by navigating to the "Full references" tab, where conservation issues, benefits and projects are cited alongside values, threats, and protection and management.Sources of information are listed under references.

Finalised on 25 May 2014
Conservation Outlook

Good with some concerns

Given the size and inaccessibility of the Reserve; the lack of human communities within its boundaries; the containment of the Reserve inside its own watershed, and the lack of significant threats, the Reserve is in a good state of conservation and the trend is stable for now, even though there is little on-the-ground management capacity. There is an urgent need to develop on-the-ground management capacity in order to assure that the current excellent conservation status is maintained

Values

Good Trend: Stable
Current state and Trend of values
Good

Given the size and inaccessibility of the Reserve; the lack of human communities within its boundaries; the containment of the Reserve inside its own watershed, and the lack of significant threats, the Reserve is in an excellent state of conservation and the trend is stable.

Threats

Low Threat
Overall Threats
Low Threat

Due to the size, inaccessibility, containment in its own watershed; and lack of human habitation, the Reserve as no significant threats. Potential threats from climate change, and activities outside the Reserve (timber concessions, mining) are relatively low.

Protection and Management

Serious Concern
Overall Protection and management
Serious Concern

Despite considerable effort and investment in the development of the management plan, there is very little on-the-ground capacity for management of the Reserve. A draft of a business management model for the CSNR was developed but the plan has not yet been implemented. The Suriname Conservation Fund (SCF) was established in 1999 with the support of Conservation International. Support by the GEF has helped build the Fund’s capital to more than USD18 million to support and aid the long-term development and conservation goals of Suriname, especially management of the Reserve. However, though funding is available, projects to support management of the Reserve have never been approved or implemented.

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Assessment Information
Finalised on 25 May 2014

Values

Given the size and inaccessibility of the Reserve; the lack of human communities within its boundaries; the containment of the Reserve inside its own watershed, and the lack of significant threats, the Reserve is in an excellent state of conservation and the trend is stable.

Good

World Heritage Values
Good Trend: Stable

High diversity of plant life, including endemic and threatened species
Good Stable

Although much basic inventory work remains to be done in the unexplored portions of the site, it is clear that the Central Suriname Nature Reserve is a major reservoir for biota of the region. The reserve is globally significant for its high diversity of plant life (6,000 vascular plant species, 8 primate species), a number of which are endemic to the Guiana Shield and are threatened. (IUCN Evaluation, 2000)

Ecological processes and variety of ecosystems
Good Stable

The Central Suriname Nature Reserve conserves a large portion of the easternmost portion of the Guiana Shield, an ancient, mineral-dense layer of the earth’s crust, formerly connected to the continent of Africa. As a geologically stable speciation centre, this region has produced a well-defined assemblage of biota including many endemics. The area of the reserve falls within one of 26 Amazonia refugia as defined in Prance and Lovejoy (1985). The site encompasses significant vertical relief, topography and soil conditions which have resulted in a variety of ecosystems. Such ecosystem variation across environmental gradients is necessary to allow organisms within these ecosystems to move in response to disturbance, adapt to change, and maintain gene flow between populations. The reserve’s size, undisturbed state (a rare condition in Amazonian forest parks) and protection of the entire Coppename watershed will allow long-term functioning of the ecosystem. (IUCN Evaluation, 2000).

Other Biodiversity values
NA Trend: NA

Threats

Due to the size, inaccessibility, containment in its own watershed; and lack of human habitation, the Reserve as no significant threats. Potential threats from climate change, and activities outside the Reserve (timber concessions, mining) are relatively low.

Low Threat

Current Threats
Low Threat

Due to the size, inaccessibility, containment in its own watershed; and lack of human habitation, the Reserve has no significant threats.

Other
Very Low Threat

Due to the nominated site’s large size, inaccessibility, containment within its own watershed, and lack of habitation, threats to the site are insignificant at present. (WDPA, 2011)

Potential Threats
Low Concern

Potential threats from climate change, and activities outside the Reserve (timber concessions, mining) are relatively low.

Temperature extremes
Low Threat

Temperatures are expected to rise slowly (1.5 ºC by 2090) and rainfall to decrease even more slowly (- 0.7 in. by 2090). Since the Reserve has significant altitudinal differences, species are expected to be able to adapt. (McSweeney, n.d.)

Mining/ Quarrying
Low Threat

Several large-scale mining concessions exist or are being awarded close to the boundaries of the designated site, gold to the north and bauxite to the west. Several exploratory timber concessions are located to the north and east (WDPA, 2011). Hunting and fishing is carried out to the south (Meddens, 2011).

Protection and management

Despite considerable effort and investment in the development of the management plan, there is very little on-the-ground capacity for management of the Reserve. A draft of a business management model for the CSNR was developed but the plan has not yet been implemented. The Suriname Conservation Fund (SCF) was established in 1999 with the support of Conservation International. Support by the GEF has helped build the Fund’s capital to more than USD18 million to support and aid the long-term development and conservation goals of Suriname, especially management of the Reserve. However, though funding is available, projects to support management of the Reserve have never been approved or implemented.

Serious Concern

Protection and management

Research
Some Concern

Research has been undertaken in the Reserve for many years, mainly by foreign academic institutions. Studies have focused on geology, geography, tropical rainforest ecology and forest fruits, and zoological studies including work on monkeys, nightjars larger animals such as caimans and primates. (WDPA, 2011). The Raleighvallen Area, where the Reserve Headquarters are located, has been utilized for scientific study for many years. Conservation International has recently constructed a research station at the base of Voltzberg Dome and the University of Florida operates a primate research station near Raleighvallen (ISESCO, 2012; WDPA, 2011). There is no Reserve research program, however.

Monitoring
Some Concern

In 2004, the international monitoring and assessment program initiated by CI Washington (TEAM research project), became active in Suriname and in 2006 a research station was built in the Raleighvallen area. However, there is no Reserve monitoring program. (UNDP, 2012; Meddenz, 2011) A monitoring program for the reserve was developed along with the CSNR management plan. However, the monitoring program has not been implemented and financing for research was provided to implement the global TEAM program - The Ecosystem Assessment and Monitoring Program. (IUCN Consultation, 2014).

Tourism and visitation management
Serious Concern

A tourism master plan was developed for CSNR, however, little progress has been achieved in its implementation.

Education and interpretation programs
Serious Concern

None are in place

Sustainable use
Effective

Ecotourism and research have been defined as two uses that can maximize benefits to the larger Surinamese community as well as neighboring communities. Though there has been some improvement in visitor facilities, visitation remains at low levels. Research facilities have improved and increased research is taking place. In both cases, current levels of activities are fully sustainable. (Vision, 2012; Meddens, 2012)

Staff training and development
Some Concern

UNDP approved a project to strengthen the SCF to enable it to better support conservation management, research, awareness, advocacy, and ecotourism activities. At the same time the government agencies responsible for protected area management were to be strengthened through the provision of financial and technical capacity building support under this project. However, evaluation of the project revealed a lack of effective implementation because of bureaucratic issues (UNDP Suriname, 2012)

Sustainable finance
Some Concern

The Suriname Conservation Fund (SCF) was established in 1999 with the support of Conservation International. Support by the GEF has helped build the Fund’s capital to more than USD18 million to support and aid the long-term development and conservation goals of Suriname, especially management of the Reserve which is the largest conservation unit in the country (Vision, 2012; Meddens, 2011). However, though funding is available, projects to support management of the Reserve have never been approved or implemented. (UNDP, 2012).

Boundaries
Serious Concern

There are major mistakes in the coordinates describing the geographical location of the Reserve, and these have not been resolved since creation of the Reserve in 1998. (Middens, 2012). The boundaries have not been demarcated on the ground. (WDPA, 2011).

Implementation of Committee decisions and recommendations
Data Deficient

No Committee decisions have been taken since inscription of the Property.

Management effectiveness
Serious Concern

Despite considerable effort and investment in the development of the management plan, there is no on-site management capacity. In the Headquarters Area, tourist facilities have been upgraded, but the beginnings of a visitors center stands unfinished. Tourist numbers have not increased as expected and employee homes are in deplorable condition. Although more research buildings were built and a local road improved, the number of active wildlife guards, research activities, and tourist numbers have actually decreased since establishment of the Reserve in 1998. (UNDP, 2012; Meddens, 2011)

Management system (for transboundary/serial properties, integrated management system should also be described/evaluated)
Serious Concern

The Head of the Forest Management Service (LBB) is responsible for Reserve management. The Nature Conservation Division (NB) of LBB directs the actual management, supported by the Suriname Foundation for Nature Preservation (STINASU). NB supervises Reserve management, based on the Management Plan developed in 2004 (Vision, 2012). A Project Implementation Unit (PIU) was established in 2009 to support the NCD with implementation of the management plan. By the end of 2010 only 2 employees were still working at the PIU; the others left because of the lack of progress. Project proposals, plans and budgets are still under review by the Forest Service. (Middens, 2012)

Integration into regional and national planning systems (including sea/landscape connectivity)
Highly Effective

The Reserve was originally established as an alternative to giving the forests in concession to Asian timber companies, and as such was part of a conscious decision by the Suriname government at the highest levels to change its development model. (Meddens, 2011).

Legal framework
Serious Concern

The Reserve was established by State Resolution, but there is little actual law enforcement capacity.

Relationships with local people (including stakeholder relationships, participatory management, rights, and access to benefits and equity)
Some Concern

Designation of the Reserve is viewed in general, by both national institutions and local communities in the interior, as very positive. However, a consultation and advisory body, which was supposed to be established and include representatives of the most relevant institutions, including the neighboring tribal communities, never was put into effect; nor is there evidence of projects being undertaken, as was originally planned, to support development of conservation compatible livelihoods as part of a process to engage local people around the Reserve. A draft of a business management model for the CSNR was developed but the plan has not yet been implemented. (UNDP, 2012; Vision, 2012; Meddens, 2011; IUCN Consultation, 2014)

Overall assessment of protection and management

Assessment of the effectiveness of protection and management in addressing threats outside the site
Serious Concern

There are no management activities to address threats from outside the Reserve.

Overall assessment of protection and management
Serious Concern

Despite considerable effort and investment in the development of the management plan, there is very little on-the-ground capacity for management of the Reserve. A draft of a business management model for the CSNR was developed but the plan has not yet been implemented. The Suriname Conservation Fund (SCF) was established in 1999 with the support of Conservation International. Support by the GEF has helped build the Fund’s capital to more than USD18 million to support and aid the long-term development and conservation goals of Suriname, especially management of the Reserve. However, though funding is available, projects to support management of the Reserve have never been approved or implemented.

Best Practice Examples

Additional Information

Key Conservation Issues

Issues

Lack of management capacity
Local

Even though the Reserve is well conserved, and there are no significant threats, there is a need to develop on-the-ground management capacity in order to assure that the current excellent conservation status is maintained

Benefits

Health and recreation

Tourism to the site is limited, but has considerable potential for expansions.

Knowledge

The size and intactness of the site makes it an extremely important resource for the generation of knowledge that requires research in pristine habitats.

Projects

Active Conservation Projects

N0 Organization/ individuals Brief description of Active Projects Contact Details
1 Conservation International CIS is known for working with government of Suriname and local communities to create the 1.6 million hectare CSNR - including protected areas design and management planning through participatory stakeholder engagement - and the development and endowment of the Suriname Conservation Fund, a US$ 15 million fund established to - .
2 Suriname Conservation Foundation The purpose of the SCF is to support management, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in Suriname. The largest grant projects have been approved to support management of the Reserve and to establish buffer zones to the west of the Reserve. An evaluation noted the lack of success of these projects. (UNDP, 2012) http://www.scf.sr.org/

Compilation of potential project needs

N.O0 Organization/ individuals Brief description of Active Projects Contact Details
Data is not available
Rn0 References
1 McSeeney, c., et al. n.d. UNDP Climate Change Country Profiles: Suriname. http://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/research/climate/projects/undp-cp/UNDP_reports/Suriname/Suriname.lowres.report.pdf
2 Pallen, Dean and Shanti Adhin, 2011. Final Evaluation of the Building Support to the Suriname Conservation Foundation Project. UNDP Suriname. http://erc.undp.org/evaluationadmin/manageevaluation/viewevaluationdetail.html?evalid=3243
3 UNDP Suriname. 2012. Project Disclosure: Capacity Building Support to the Suriname Conservation Foundation. (2004-2010).. http://undpsuriname.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&catid=7%3Aundp-tables&id=51%3Acapacity-building-support-to-the-suriname-conservation-foundation-scf&Itemid=20
4 Meddens, Liset. 2011. Local Government and Global NGO in a struggle to protect the jungle: A case study of ‘Conservation International’ and the Central Suriname Nature Reserve. Masters Thesis. Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR) http://www.enp.wur.nl/NR/rdonlyres/76E37461-F1BF-4D5E-8AE2-68E5084C0171/137125/MscThesisLisetMeddensLocalGovernmentandGlobalNGOin.pdf
5 ISESCO, 2012. Central Suriname Nature Reserve (Suriname). Islamic – World Science Net. http://www.icpsr.org.ma/?Page=showInstitute&InstituteID=CSNR844&CountryID=Suriname
6 Vision for the CSNR, 2012. http://www.centraalsuriname.sr.org/vision.htm
7 IUCN, 2000. World Heritage Nomination – IUCN Techniucal Evaluation: Central Suriname Nature Reserve ( Suriname)

Site Description

The Central Suriname Nature Reserve comprises 1.6 million ha of primary tropical forest of west-central Suriname. It protects the upper watershed of the Coppename River and the headwaters of the Lucie, Oost, Zuid, Saramaccz, and Gran Rio rivers and covers a range of topography and ecosystems of notable conservation value due to its pristine state. Its montane and lowland forests contain a high diversity of plant life with more than 5,000 vascular plant species collected to date. The Reserve's animals are typical of the region and include the jaguar, giant armadillo, giant river otter, tapir, sloths, eight species of primates and 400 bird species such as harpy eagle, Guiana cock-of-the-rock, and scarlet macaw.

ⓒ UNESCO