Turtle watch Matapica Wetlands, Suriname

Turtle watch Matapica Wetlands, Suriname
Organisation: Stichting d'ONS
Purpose: Turtle watch Matapica Wetlands, Suriname
Amout: € 20,000 (2015) + € 4,100 (2014) = € 24,100
Date application: March 2015
Date board approval: March 2015
Location: Matapica Wetlands, Suriname


In March 2015 the organisations sustainable development Netherlands Suriname Foundation (d'ONS) and the country's Forest Management (LBB) from Suriname, launched a pilot project for volunteers, in addition to the regular game wardens, to work for the protection of the sea turtles on the beach of the vulnerable Matapica Wetlands. The immediate cause for this action is the years of large-scale robbery of turtle eggs in the area for commercial fishing and consumption. In the past 20 years the number of adult females to estimate to less than 30,000. The protection on the Surinam beaches is not optimal. There have been during the pilot 30 volunteers signed up for the training to assistant game wardens. And they have performed their tasks with great enthusiasm.

The supervision management is with the arrival of the volunteers better, but it is necessary in the coming years to persevere permanent physical presence of staff; therefore, the design of a digital Volunteer Centre for the next 5 years is essential. This will be substantiated by a master project at the Anton de Kom University (ADEK) from Suriname, which must substantiate the necessity of a permanent volunteer exchange scientific, making necessary structural additional management of the vulnerable Matapica area can be included. Finally, an awareness campaign will be set up with an elementary school from the Matapica area to make it clear to the community, that eggs robbery and consumption of turtle eggs are not wages.

We are very grateful to the Boomgaard foundation for embracing this project and for making this project financial possible and for the continuation of this project.

Turtle watch Matapica Wetlands, Suriname

Turtle Watch 2016 Suriname

In March 2016 calls were placed in two local newspapers in Suriname and on social media, where candidates were called to participate to volunteer at the beach, used by breeding sea turtles, at Braamspunt. 23 volunteers were trained on measuring sea turtles and eggs, identifying the turtle species, entering data, the effect of eroding coastline and moving turtle nests below the high tide line to higher parts. Practical trainings were conducted on the beach used for breeding Braamspunt. From their mobile field station on the beach, the volunteers were able to take their patrol activities; allowing them to work on laptops on which data information could be entered overnight.

In cooperation with the police in the Commewijne district, they managed to intercept more than 12.000 eggs during the nesting season, which unfortunately had to be destroyed immediately.

Disturbing developments
Because of the bad economical situation in Suriname, gamekeepers often get other tasks, besides their usual task; to look after the sea turtles. A disastrous situation! Because of the efforts of the volunteers, the monitoring is on an acceptable level at Braamspunt. Sanitation at the mobile field station, electricity, working conditions (heat, etc.) are included in the Turtle Watch 2017 program. Furthermore, the awareness of conservation of sea turtles will get a bigger role, through primary education.

Full address:
Stichting duurzame Ontwikkeling Nederland Suriname (d'ONS)
Directeur Drs. Hendrik T. Comvalius
Lambertus Hortensiuslaan 66
1412 GX Naarden
Account nr:

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