Just below an area of cloud forest on the Island of Hawai'i, an outstanding cadre of the principal cloud forest researchers and managers from around the world gathered from July 27 to August 1, 2004. Their purpose was to bring forward before peers the latest information on the occurrence, site conditions, ecological functioning (especially in terms of water, nutrient, and carbon dynamics), as well as threats to and management of these special ecosystems. As well as providing valuable interchange among cloud forest colleagues, and providing new partnerships in research, this event has subsequently resulted in this book. It presents much of the current state-of-the-art knowledge about cloud forests.
Only once previously had such an international convocation been effected. This was organized by the East–West Center and the International Institute of Tropical Forestry of the United States Forest Service, with support from the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme in 1993. It was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico and brought together some 44 scientists who were working in cloud forests on every continent, in 20 countries. The collected papers and a synthesis chapter were published in Tropical Montane Cloud Forests in 1995 by Springer-Verlag, edited by Lawrence Hamilton, James Juvik, and Fred Scatena. This event and this book stimulated several new university, governmental, and intergovernmental programs of research and education.
Some ten years later, the three conveners and editors, augmented by the energy of Sampurno Bruijnzeel, were moved into action at the insistence of Jim Juvik, to attempt the convening of another symposium, a “Puerto Rico Plus 10” event.