Forest Management & Rehabilitation Research is directed towards problems of reforestation and restoration of degrading lands through establishment of plantations for timber production and non-timber benefits, monitoring of long term forest plots established throughout Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and secondary forest management in the tropics.

Vast areas of primary forests are being converted to secondary forests and former forest tracts, which were once farmed and depleted of fertility, are being abandoned. Current studies support plantation forestry to provide more of the timber produced in the tropics. Research efforts aimed at accelerating forest recovery on degrading sites and management of secondary forests are being extended from the Caribbean to continental areas of Latin America (particularly Brazil) and Africa, Australia and Hawaii through cooperative research.

In collaboration with the World Bank, CIFOR, IUFRO and numerous public and private sector research organizations worldwide, IITF is leading an international research program on silvicultural approaches to tropical forest restoration: