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US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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International Forest Science

Protected area in Kerala, southern India
Protected area in Kerala, southern India

The Forest Service faces many challenges in protecting and managing the nation’s forests and grasslands, including increasing pressure from a growing human population, energy demands, climate change, and pollution. Many of these challenges are shared by other land managers in North America and in many other parts of the world. To maintain and restore healthy and productive forest ecosystems that provide the multiple goods and environmental services to people, the best available science is needed to provide viable, practical advice to forest owners, communities, and land managers. While much of this expertise can be found at home, the agency has much to learn from working with colleagues internationally.

International research collaboration plays a vital role accomplishing the Forest Service’s mission by harnessing the knowledge and experience of forest and rangeland scientists worldwide to develop science-based solutions more efficiently. Forest Service R&D has a long and productive history of international science collaboration across the full range of our domestic research programs, including: Invasive Species; Inventory, Monitoring & Analysis; Outdoor Recreation; Resource Management & Use; Water, Air & Soil; Wildland Fire & Fuel; and Wildlife & Fish. This work supports Forest Service R&D priority work areas, including Biomass & Bioenergy, Climate Change, Nanotechnology, Urban Natural Resources Stewardship, and Watershed Management & Restoration.

Agroforestry landscape in southern Malawi
Agroforestry landscape in southern Malawi

International research and development activities also enhance the work of the agency’s International Programs Office by providing technical and scientific expertise to projects and programs financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development that deal with forest-related issues related to biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and forest landscape restoration. It contributes significantly to helping the United States meet its international environmental objectives obligations through collaboration with international organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Our work also provides necessary scientific and technical expertise to the State Department and other U.S. government agencies in the development and effective implementation of regional programs and environmental agreements related to forests, such as the Conventions on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, among others.

The agency’s international research engagement includes individual collaborative research projects between Forest Service scientists and their counterparts worldwide and more formalized longer-term research projects between Forest Service research teams and universities or government research organizations. It also involves networking activities between our scientists and international colleagues through regional associations such as the North American Forestry Commission, and global networks such as the International Union of Forest Research Organizations, in which the Forest Service has been actively involved as a member organization for nearly a century.