Sustain Our Nation's Forests and Grasslands

Forestry conservation symposium in Puerto Rico celebrates important landmarks

Dr. Jess Zimmerman talking about the Luquillo Research Program and climate change at Symposium 30-75-100 in Puerto Rico. USDA photo by Marinelis Talavera.

PUERTO RICO – The Stoichiometry of research, science education and forest conservation in Puerto Rico, a symposium organized by the Department of Natural Resources of Puerto Rico, known as DRNA in Spanish, the International Institute of Tropical Forestry and the University of Puerto Rico, was held successfully last 6-8 of December at the facilities of the UPR campus located in Rio Piedras.  

The event was a result of a collaborative effort to celebrate different initiatives of forestry conservation. It was also an opportunity to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Ecological Research Program of Luquillo, the 75th anniversary of the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the UPR and the 100th anniversary of the Forest Service in Puerto Rico. In the past 100 years there has been an increment in the efforts of preserving natural areas in Puerto Rico, as well as actively promoting research among organizations.

During the opening ceremony, several scientists were recognized for being pioneers in the creation of the research program of Luquillo, as well as various other contributions to the UPR and the Forest Conservation and Protected Areas program of the DNRA in Puerto Rico. The following day, a series of masterly talks discussed the positive impact and contribution of scientific research in our society were held. The panel was composed by researchers from Puerto Rico, United States and Panama.

On Saturday, the discussion was open to sectors of the Puerto Rican public, along with scientists. This discussion focused on environmental education, the conservation of the island’s forests and public-private partnerships for the next 100 years, as well as how the island can reinvent itself after the passage of the hurricanes María and Irma in 2017. "They presented inspiring, futuristic and multidisciplinary visions that produced a very positive synergy that promises a collaborative future and great opportunities for environmental education, research science and the conservation of forest resources in Puerto Rico," said Dr. Grizelle González, leader of the research unit of IITF in Puerto Rico.

Panel III at Symposium 30-75-100 discussing the benefits of forest conservation in Puerto Rico. USDA Photo by Dr. Grizelle González.

Dr. Frank Wadsworth, who celebrated his 103rd birthday in November, along with some of the organizers and panelists of the symposium in Puerto Rico. USDA photo by María Rivera.