10th Latin American Model Forest to Join IMFN

Costa Rica officially joins the International Model Forest Network on December 5, 2003, bringing the total number of model forests in Latin America and the Caribbean to 10. The 200,000 ha Rio Reventazón watershed area was selected as the site of the Costa Rican model forest for its unique characteristics, such as: its close proximity to the metropolitan area; the watershed generates of 30 per cent of Costa Rica's hydroelectricity and 25 per cent of the country’s potable water; it encompasses an indigenous reserve, intensive agriculture areas, and tourism sites; and, its diversity of environments (1,900-7,500 mm of precipitation per year and an elevation of 600-3,500 metres)

The official signing ceremony by the Minister for the Environment and Energy, Mr Carlos Manuel Rodriguezin, will take place in Cartago City outside of San José. IMFNS Executive Director, Peter Besseau, will represent the Model Forest Network at the ceremony.

New Senior Project Officer for Asia at IMFNS

The IMFNS is pleased to announce that Brian Bonnell has joined our team in the newly created Senior Program Officer for Asia position. Brian graduated with a Joint Honours B.A. in Environment & Resource Studies and Geography from the University of Waterloo, and has also completed a Certificate in Environmental Impact Assessment from Lakehead University.

Brian began his professional career with the Newfoundland Forest Service and it was here that he first became involved with Canada's innovative Model Forest Program, assisting in the development of the successful Western Newfoundland Model Forest (WNMF) proposal.

In 1993, Brian moved to the Canadian Forest Service in the role of Regional Model Forest Coordinator. After two years with the WNMF, Brian transferred to Ottawa to become the Canadian Model Forest Network Coordinator, then Manager for Canada's Model Forest Program. As Manager Brian was responsible for the development and delivery of Canada's Model Forest Program, and for leading the Phase III (2002 - 2007) program renewal process.

Brian also brings international experience to the position having worked for nearly two years as an Environmental Planning Advisor with a community-based NGO in Nepal. He also has extensive involvement with the International Model Forest Network, most recently assisting in the establishment of a Regional Model Forest Network for Latin America and the Caribbean through on-site assessments of the five current regional model forests, and in transferring Canadian Model Forest Network experiences to regional staff.

Welcome Brian!


Model Forests Profiled in FAO Publication

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will include a feature on model forests at the XII World Forestry Congress in an upcoming issue of Unasylva, an international journal of forestry and forest industries. Look for it in January 2004 on the FAO website at


Asian Monitoring and Evaluation Workshop

The International Model Forest Network Secretariat (IMFNS) is sponsoring a monitoring and evaluation workshop from January 10-15 in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for Asian regional model forest representatives to begin developing M&E standards that are relevant to model forests. For more information, please contact IMFNS Senior Project Officer for Asia, Brian Bonnell, at