Press Release: FCER attends prestigious 50th anniversary joint symposium of ATBC and OTS

Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest to Attend Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation / Organization for Tropical Studies Joint Symposium

      50th Anniversary Meeting to take place June 23-27 in San José, Costa Rica

ST. LOUIS  The Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest recently announced that representatives have been invited to the joint meeting of the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) and the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), taking place June 23-27, 2013 in San José, Costa Rica.  This meeting will mark the 50th anniversary for the OTS, a consortium of U.S., Costa Rican, and other universities and research institutions that has provided excellent field courses in tropical biology, environmental science, and global health areas for the past half-century.

Laurie Waller, President of The Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest (or FCER), will be traveling from St. Louis to attend the meeting. FCER Board Member and President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden Dr. Peter Raven will join Waller for this prestigious conference of international scientists, biologists and conservation experts.

While at the symposium, Dr. Raven will also be participating in a key panel discussion, “Historical Reflections and Future Challenges in Tropical Biology and Conservation.” Dr. Raven has been associated with OTS since the 1960s, serving as Board Member and President along the way.

The joint meeting of ATBC and OTS will investigate the current state of tropical biology and prove directions for the future.  In view of  the challenges facing the future of tropical habitats worldwide, the role of conservation initiatives such as the inspiring Children’s Eternal Rainforest (CER) assume special importance as sites for research, teaching, and learning.

FCER President Laurie Waller notes, “This is a significant meeting, and an unprecedented opportunity for the Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest to be able to attend and be a part of. ATBC and OTS are leaders among worldwide scientific organizations concerned with the tropics, and we hope that additional scientists attending the meeting may be interested in the CER as sites for research and teaching, as a number of biologists do now.  With more than 1,200 leading tropical scientists in attendance from across the globe, many new research findings and recommendations crucial to the future of the Earth’s climate and natural resources will no doubt be presented.”

In connection with his trip, Dr. Peter Raven will be making a stop to visit to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. While visiting the reserve, Raven plans to explore the Pocosol field station, located on the Caribbean side of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, along with Costa Rican-based FCER Board Members Tom Newmark (Advisory Board), Dr. Julia Matamoros (a Past President of the Monteverde Conservation League – or MCL), and Dr. Frank Joyce (also a Past President of the MCL). They will visit Finca Luna Nueva, the biodynamic farm and eco lodge owned and operated by Tom and Terry Newmark. This group will also tour Texas A&M University’s Soltis Center for Research and Education in Costa Rica – a tropical ecological research facility located near the Children’s Eternal Rainforest – as guests of Kim Soltis Hammer, also an FCER Board Member.

The Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest is the U.S.-based non-profit organization – headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri – that supports the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. FCER is dedicated to protecting and expanding the Children’s Eternal Rainforest through programming that includes youth education and empowerment; conservation education and outreach; rainforest habitat purchase and rehabilitation; and the protection of wildlife.

With respect to FCER’s attendance at the ATBC and OTS joint symposium, Waller continues, “In addition, representatives from the Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest will have the chance to interact with meeting attendees and present information about the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, which is a highly-protected, essentially pristine rainforest that been studied very little so far.  Because it is important for researchers to work in an accessible, well-protected environment, this rainforest – with our two scientist-friendly field stations – presents unlimited research possibilities. We are excited to be able to share information about this rainforest with scientists and researchers at this significant meeting.”

The Children’s Eternal Rainforest is a 54,000 acre reserve in Costa Rica founded by the efforts of school children from around the world (44 countries and territories to date.)  FCER’s mission is to educate the public about rainforest conservation, protect and expand the unique and inspiring Children’s Eternal Rainforest conservation project, and engage children and adults in creating a sustainable future.

To accomplish this mission, FCER works in conjunction with the guardians and operators of the internationally supported Children’s Eternal Rainforest reserve, the Monteverde Conservation League (or MCL). MCL is the Costa Rican organization that has administered the CER for the past 25 years. MCL’s stewardship of the reserve led it to be designated by the United Nations as a UNESCO Peace and Water Biosphere Reserve. The largest private reserve in Central America, the Children’s Eternal Rainforest protects 54,000 acres of montane tropical rainforest, one of Earth’s rarest types of remaining rainforest (more than 60% of the total rainforest on earth has been destroyed.)

Waller notes, “The enchanting Children’s Eternal Rainforest was created more than 25 years ago by school children around the globe to protect one of the world’s most rare and bio-diverse habitats – the rain and cloud forests of the Tilarán Mountains of Costa Rica. Children globally continue to support and expand this incredibly rich forest, and we are honored to be able to share this rainforest with scientists and researchers worldwide.”

She adds, “FCER’s initiatives and efforts are very important, not only to St. Louisans, but to people everywhere.”

For more information about the upcoming Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation and Organization    for Tropical Studies Meeting and FCER’s attendance at this joint symposium, please contact the Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest at (314) 941-1257 or via the organization’s website at

Additional details about the meeting are also available at                                                                                                                                                                                  

About the Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest

The Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest (FCER) is a 501 (c) 3 organization.

Formerly known as the Monteverde Conservation League US, FCER was founded in 2002 by St. Louisans Rachel and Dwight Crandell for the purpose of educating children about conservation, encouraging children and adults to take action to create a sustainable future, and buying and protecting the rare rainforest habitat of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, located in the Tilarán mountains in Costa Rica–an area widely recognized by conservation biologists as one of the most bio-diverse places on earth.

FCER creates curriculum for the education of children about rainforests and their conservation, works with local and national schools, and leads service and research trips to the rainforest for children and adults.

FCER is composed of some of the world’s most renowned planetary biologists, conservationists, teachers and nature lovers who are dedicated to supporting, protecting and expanding this unique 54,000 reserve and fostering efforts to support and protect it.


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