IC Overview Test

Hispanola parrot

The International Cooperation (IC) Unit promotes the 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. Project topics include forest, park, and protected area management; environmental education and interpretation; sustainable nature-based tourism; long-term forest monitoring, and environmental and biological assessments. Staff members regularly participate in technical assistance and training for the development and implementation of international activities. The Institute also recruits other Forest Service experts, as well as members of the university community and the private sector, with the language skills and experience required to meet program needs.

Nicaragua Activities

In coordination with the Institute’s Wildlife Unit, the IC Program provide technical assistance and technology transfer to Nicaragua with support to long-term biomonitoring, sustainable tourism development, and sampling for mercury and other of persistent toxic substances in shade coffee and cloud forest within the Mombacho Volcano Natural Reserve (Granada, Nicaragua). Our primary partners in Nicaragua were the Ministry of Environment and non-governmental organizations CLUSA, Paso Pacífico, and Fundación Cocibolca. Long-term plots were measured in agroforestry systems under five land uses (secondary and riparian forests, forest fallow, coffee plantations, and ’open lands’, e.g., grasslands and pasturelands with scattered trees) in the northern highlands and the same above-cited agroforestry systems, with the exception of coffee plantations, in southern coastal areas within the Paso del Istmo biological corridor. Several manuscripts, technical reports, and presentations were generated from this work.

Dominican Republic Activities

The primary focus in the Dominican Republic was to assist Dominican Republic tourism clusters with biodiversity conservation and sustainable tourism development, through on-the-ground technical assistance and training programs. The following activities were undertaken:

  • Provided technical assistance to underserved, disadvantaged Hispanic local communities and non-governmental organizations to encourage economic benefits by helping to establish eco-businesses in protected areas and their buffer zones in La Caleta Marine National Park, Laguna Bávaro Wildlife Refuge, Samaná Bay, and local communities in Jarabacoa (Sonido de Yaque) and Constanza (Salto Aguas Blancas).
  • Designed environmentally friendly souvenir products to promote biodiversity conservation and to encourage economic benefits for local underserved Hispanic communities and non-governmental organizations to sell in gift shops and at major hotels. More than 25 products were designed, including logos, keychain fobs, posters, post cards, t–shirts, caps, coffee mugs, and bird guides.
  • Resident Artist Program

    A colorful mural in the streets of the Dominican Republic

    This program links local artists with FS scientists to develop artistic interpretations of science they produce.