Tropics Foundation Receives Donation From Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation
ATLANTA, Sept. 29, 2005 –The Tropics Foundation has received donation of two tracts of land in Chile from the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation that will allow it to strengthen its support of sustainable rural development and conservation of the environment in the American tropics. Value of the land, which will be sold, is estimated at $1.5 million. Rullie Harris, a Weyerhaeuser government affairs manager and advisor to the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation, formally presents the donation Thursday, Sept. 29, in Atlanta during a meeting of the Tropics Foundation.
The Tropics Foundation was created in 1999 to support the work of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), a regional center that works in 13 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to alleviate rural poverty and protect biodiversity.
"The gift of these lands located in the lake district of southern Chile comes at a crucial time for the Tropics Foundation," said Tom Miller, president of the Tropics Foundation Board of Directors. "We are beginning an initiative to foster alliances between CATIE and U.S. agribusinesses, educational institutions and scientific research centers with the objective of advocating and implementing the values of sustainably managing and using natural resources," says Miller.
Based in Turrialba, Costa Rica, CATIE (Spanish acronym pronounced Kah'-Tee-Eh) has the oldest graduate school in Latin America, created in 1943. It's master's and doctoral students, from Latin America, the United States and Europe carry out research related to real problems in the rural tropics.
The international faculty manages projects with a wide range of institutional partners in areas such as global change, forests and biodiversity, small ecoenterprises, watershed management, environmental management of livestock farms, plant genetic resources, and improvement in quality, productivity and environmental friendliness of crops such as coffee, cacao, bananas and vegetables.
Focus is always on a people-centered sustainable rural development. More than 100,000 rural people have benefited from CATIE's research and development projects in the past decade, according to Pedro Ferreira, the center's director general. "This gift to the Tropics Foundation significantly multiplies what CATIE can do in the region," says Ferreira.