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Tourism Development in Christian and Langaman Kondre in Suriname. Criteria for evaluating success.
Community Structure • Type: Indigenous Peoples; Carib Amerindian • Population: 1, 200 persons • Employment: ~30% • Per Capita Income (estimated USD 50 - 200) • Income generation (by type): fishing, tourism, other
Culture • Fishing • Traditional dance • Production of cassava bread and “cassiri”, cassava rum
Marine Turtles • 4 species known to nest in Galibi NR • Warana, olive ridley or LO once nested in high abundance • Leatherback, DC and green turtles, CM nest also in high densities • The hawksbill, EI nest in low densities
Tradition: Marine Turtles Villages are located near turtle nesting beaches • Beach visits to “turtle watch” • Egg collection for local consumption Turtle egg consumption…. a significant component of traditional diet
Turtle Conservation • 1960’s Galibi NR created to protect nesting sites of turtles • Nesting females protected • Fishing of turtles banned • Disturbance of nesting habitats not permitted • Access to turtle resource restricted • Permission required to harvest eggs
Turtle Conservation • 2002: marine turtles fully protected. No longer possible to harvest eggs. • Negative reaction from villagers as access to marine turtles now completely restricted.
Marine Turtle Conservation: Target Audience • Egg poachers • Egg consumers • Middle men and merchants
Egg poachers • Mainly from Christian. Kondre and Langaman. Kondre • Males (15 – 55 yrs) • Most (80%) unemployed residents • Others are part-time and full-time fishermen
Egg Consumers • Reported to be most (90%) village residents • Large proportion of Indonesian, East Indian, Creole coastal population • Males and females (18 – 80 yrs) • All occupations
Middlemen and Merchants • Residents from Galibi villages, the surrounding communities closer to Albina, Paramaribo • Employed persons • Males, with access to vehicles
Drivers of Egg Poaching 1. Tradition: egg consumption is part of Surinamese (Indonesian and Amerindian) culture (consumers) 2. Enjoyment: turtle eggs are reported to be very tasty and fun to eat (consumers) 3. Affordable and nutritional (consumers) 4. Good income generator (collectors and vendors)
WWF Interest in Tourism Marine Turtle Conservation support…. . • Reduce egg collection • Alternative to coastal seine fishing
Ecotourism • Alternative or compensation for loss of access to the resource • Contribute to the livelihoods of the peoples of Galibi
Ecotourism • Assumption: non-consumptive exploitation of marine turtles ………may generate as much or more social and economic benefits to the local communities ……… than consumption of the marine turtle eggs and meat.
Ecotourism in Galibi
Ecotourism in Galibi • Tourists transported from Paramaribo to town of Albina and then to the villages by large canoe: 60 – 90 mins. • Visitors stay at small lodges within the village • Stays are for 1 – 2 days on average • All meals provided by the lodge • Visitors are transported at night to the nesting beaches by boat • Beach visits conducted by trained tour guides
Who is involved? • Boat owners 100% local • Stidunal (NGO responsible for tourism development in Galibi) 100% local • Boat operators 100% local • Guest house owners 100% local • Cooks 80% local • Tour guides (50% local, 50% Paramaribo)
Ecotourism in Galibi. Who are the beneficiaries? • • Tour operators Boat owners Boat operators Guest house owners Housekeepers Cooks Tour guides
Does ecotourism in Galibi impact on the livelihoods of marine turtle egg collectors and consumers?
And if not Consider……. Is ecotourism achieving its desired objective? Is there a contribution to turtle conservation?
How can the tourism package be adjusted to ensure equity in returns to community residents?
How may we expand benefits to embrace target groups relevant to turtle conservation?
Recommendations • Training packages in tourism for unemployed persons in the community. • Reserve 50% of tour guide jobs for trained ex-poachers. • Increase access to tourism transport to all boat owners including egg poachers. • Use nature fee to support alternative income generating projects identified to directly help persons involved in poaching.
Criteria for Success • 1. Activities are legal and socially acceptable. 2. Activities are biodiversity friendly or contribute to biodiversity conservation. 3. Benefits are clearly visible, measurable and long term. 4. Benefits extend to relevant target groups. 5. Benefits are socially, economically and or culturally comparable to any that they are intended to substitute. 6. Benefits do not disadvantage any social, or economic group in the community.
Let us ensure that eco-tourism is truly a tool for turtle conservation. Not only must activities be environmentally sustainable, benefits must also be clearly relevant to all stakeholders. Thank You