Appendix 1 International Institute of Tropical Forestry Mission

14 forestIn 1932, the McSweeney-McNary Forest Research Act designated a nation-wide system of forest experiment stations. That authorization led to the establishment of a research station in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, known today as the USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry (Institute). In support of the Forest Service mission to “care for the land and serve the people”, the Institute’s mission is to develop and exchange knowledge that contributes to the management of the forests, wildlife, and watersheds critical to sustaining tropical ecosystems benefits for future generations. Under the authorities provided in the International Forestry Cooperation Act of 1990 the Institute may undertake activities described within the Act in countries that receive assistance from the Agency for International Development.


The Institute has programs in Research, State and Privat Forestry, and International Cooperation. The core objective of these programs is to develop and disseminate scientifically based knowledge that contributes to the sustainable management of tropical forests. On a broader scale, the International Cooperation Unit contributes to the Institute mission of exchanging knowledge critical to the sustainability of tropical ecosystems through development, training, and technical assistance programs throughout Central and South America, the Caribbean, and other parts of the world. The Institute also houses a specialized research library. Established more than 60 years ago, this facility contains major publications – in English and Spanish on forestry, ecology, management and utilization of tropical forests and other documents and materials related to the management and preservation of tropical forests from around the world. The Institute also manages two experimental forests and contains excellent laboratory facilities.