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Individual Highlight

Exploring the views and perspectives of different groups of people about the ecosystem services provided by Puerto Rico's El Yunque National Forest (El Yunque)

El Yunque - Participatory mapping individual. Forest Service Snapshot : Interface South, the University of Puerto Rico, El Yunque National Forest and the International Institute of Tropical Forestry surveyed stakeholders to gather the information needed to better conserve the forests of El Yunque and the ecosystem services they provide and to look at the potential role of land-owner incentive programs.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Hermansen-Baez, Annie 
Research Station : Southern Research Station (SRS)
Year : 2011
Highlight ID : 410


Interface South, the University of Puerto Rico, El Yunque National Forest and the International Institute of Tropical Forestry conducted a study to better understand what stakeholders knew about the ecosystem services provided by El Yunque and the factors affecting these services. The three main objectives were: (1) to assess stakeholders' knowledge of El Yunque ecosystem services and the factors influencing the availability of these services; (2) to explore the potential role of landowner-incentive conservation programs for forest conservation around El Yunque, including conservation easements, land donations, and land purchases; and (3) to document the geographic distribution of land covers around El Yunque, with special emphasis on the distribution and expansion of urban land cover as a potential factor affecting El Yunque and its ecosystem services.

The partners used findings from the research to develop a series of fact sheets designed to provide information for land-use planning, decision making, and management around El Yunque National Forest. The partners also developed a series of guides that describe the techniques used in the study, including step-by-step instructions in their use. These techniques can be used by others to study similar topics. Publications developed for the El Yunque Ecosystem Services Project (all also published in Spanish) include:

El Yunque Ecosystem Services: A Participatory Research Approach, Land Cover within and around El Yunque National, Forest, Expansion of Urban Land Cover around El Yunque National Forest, Urbanization Trends and Zoning around El Yunque National ForestLandowner Incentives for Conservation around El Yunque National ForestParticipatory Listing, Ranking, and Scoring of Ecosystem Services and Drivers of ChangeParticipatory Mapping of Land-Cover ChangeMulti-Criteria Evaluation and Geographic Information Systems for Land-Use Planning and Decision Making

A general technical report about this project is also under development. All of these publications will be available on the Interface South website at:

Additional Resources

El Yunque National Forest web site(web site)

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • University of Puerto Rico, State & Private Forestry, National Forest System, Institute of Tropical Forestry

Program Areas