Welcome message from Professor Niels Elers Koch, IUFRO President:

From 12 to 15 June 2013, the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) in association with the Agriculture Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) and many other partners will celebrate the Third IUFRO Latin American Congress (IUFROLAT) in San José, Costa Rica. As President of IUFRO it makes me proud and confident that this important event will further stimulate and enhance the scientific cooperation with forest researchers and organizations in the Latin American and Caribbean region.

Forests in Latin America are of special importance because of their central role for people's wellbeing in this region and the world. Quality research in forestry and related fields need to continue providing the scientific knowledge for the sustainable development of forest resources, conservation of the environment, and – above all – the enhancement of the livelihoods of billions of forest-dependent people. Networking and sharing of information among forest scientists and practitioners in Spanish, English and Portuguese – the three official conference languages - will be part of the success of this Regional Congress. I, therefore, will be very grateful to welcoming many scientists and officeholders from IUFRO at this Third Latin American Congress in San José, Costa Rica.

Welcome message from Dr. Jose Joaquín Campos Arce, Director of CATIE

Dear Participants of the 3rd IUFRO Latin American Congress (IUFROLAT)

As Director General of CATIE, the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center, I would like to welcome you most cordially to Costa Rica, a country known for its achievements in conservation and sustainable forest management. It is a great honour and pleasure for us to host this IUFROLAT Congress, an event of great importance for forest science in Latin America, during our celebration of CATIE's 40th anniversary. 

It is a special privilege for me to welcome you also in my capacity as member of the IUFRO Board. IUFRO is the longest standing forest research network in the world. It was established in 1892 and unites over 700 Member Organizations and more than 15,000 scientists. Since its foundation, IUFRO has played a crucial role in promoting international coordination and cooperation in forest research.

CATIE, the organization I represent, is a regional center of excellence which aims at building “climatically intelligent landscapes”. These shall allow rural communities to reach a more sustainable development, based on the competitive and sustainable provision of ecosystem goods and services from forests, agricultural systems and natural resources in general, while at the same time reducing emissions and enhancing our capacity of adapation to global changes. CATIE's contribution to this development has been made possible by combining top quality scientific research, education and technical assistance in a unique way.




CATIE is developing systemic and collaborative approaches to facilitate innovative and sustainable solutions for tackling the complex challenges agriculture and natural resources are faced with in Latin America.
Therefore, we work together closely with rural families, local organizations, national authorities, regional platforms, and international partners while generating knowledge, technologies and capacity for decision-making and designing policies that will lead to a favorable and enabling environment for sustainable development.

Since its creation in 1973, CATIE has cooperated very actively with IUFRO, which also explains our involvement with IUFROLAT: this event constitutes an excellent platform for sharing and exchanging research and experiences between different actors, not only from Latin America but also from other parts of the world. The theme of the Congress “Forests, Competitiveness and Sustainable Landscapes” gives an idea of its broad spectrum and addresses the major and most strategic challenges that the forest sector in Latin America is faced with; we are confident that they will be discussed in detail and in depth.

Today the scientific community, forest professionals and other actors in the fields of conservation, promotion and sustainable management of forests in Latin America, are all confronted with major problems, and we all have to contribute to reaching the desired goal of integrated and sustainable human development where we produce more and at the same time conserve our forests better in a context of complex global challenges. Therefore, IUFROLAT will provide ample room for analysis, mutual learning and the identification of feasible strategies and, thus, will offer an opportunity from which we must draw the largest possible benefit.

Together, we shall make this Congress a milestone in the advancement of the contribution of forest science to sustainable development in Latin America.