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9. The Near East Process

Description: FAO/UNEP Expert Meeting on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management for countries in the region identified 7 criteria and 65 indicators for sustainable forest management at the regional and national levels. The guidelines are intended to assist countries in assessing and measuring the sustainability of forest management activities.

Initiated: 10/1996, Cairo, Egypt, under the coordination of FAO and UNEP

Member Countries 30: Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbeijan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tadjikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

www address: (under preparation)

Criteria and Indicators:

Criterion 1: Extent of forest resources


1.1 Area and percentage of forests and “other wooded lands” (including plantations, agroforestry, shelterbelts) with their change over time (deforestation, reforestation and conversion).

1.2 Biomass/Standing volume, Growing stock, Carbon stock.

1.3 Area and percentage of forests for which management plans are made

1.4 Area and percentage of forests and other wooded lands which have been demarcated.

Criterion 2: Concervation of biological diversity in forest areas

Ecosystem indicators:

2.1 Distribution of forest ecosystems (area by type of vegetation, natural or man-made)

2.2 Areas of forest reserves and protected areas

2.3 Spatial fragmentation of forest resources

2.4 Excisions affecting rare ecosystems by area

Species indicators:

2.5 No. of forest dependent species (fauna, flora)

2.6 Area and number of species at risk in forest areas

2.7 Extent of mixed stands

2.8 Reliance on natural regeneration

Genetic indicators:

2.9 Existence of the number of seed provenance

2.10 No. of forest dependent species with reduced range

2.11 Population levels of key species across their range

Criterion 3: Health, vitality and integrity

External influence indicators:

3.1 Areas and percentage of forest (plantations/natural forests) affected by:

- natural fires
- storms
- insects and diseases
- drought
- wild animals (game)
Forest vitality indicators:

3.2 Area of natural forests with healthy regeneration

3.3 Incidence of defoliation

Anthropogenic influence indicators (site degradation):

3.4 Area of encroachment for farming, urban expansion and unplanned tourism

3.5 Average annual consumption of fuelwood per capita

3.6 Area and number of fires caused by people

3.7 Grazing damage by domestic animals

3.8 Competition from introduced plants

3.9 Trends in crop yields

Criterion 4: Productive capacity and functions


4.1 Percentage of forests and other wooded lands managed according to an integrated management plan[8]

4.2 Annual balance between wood increment and wood harvesting and trends

4.3 Wood production

4.4 Non-wood forest products outputs including among others aromatic and medicinal plants

Criterion 5: Protective and environmental functions

Indicators of protective functions:

5.1 Extent of forests and other wooded lands managed for protection purposes

5.2 Size and percentage of wooded areas managed mainly for the protection of watersheds

5.3 Areas managed for scenic and amenity purposes

5.4 Areas managed for soil protection

Indicators of combating land degradation:

5.5 Area of sand dunes annually stabilized through tree/shrub planting

5.6. Area of eroded hillsides annually rehabilitated through tree/shrub planting

5.7 Efficiency of trees/shrubs planted in stabilizing sand dunes or rehabilitating eroded hill sides

5.8 Effectiveness of plans formulated for managing trees/shrubs planted for desertification control.

5.9 Extent of combating desertification

Criterion 6: Maintenance and development of socio-economic functions and conditions

Indicators of economic conditions:

6.1 Value of wood products

6.2 Value of Non-Wood Forest Products

6.3 Value of recreation

6.4 Value of hunting

6.5 Share of forest sector in GNP/GDP

6.6 Value from secondary forest industries

6.7 Value from biomass energy

6.8 Forest trade balance

6.9 Level of investment in forest sector and forest products based industries

Indicators of the distribution of benefits:

6.10 Employment generation in forest sector

6.11 Forest dependent communities involvement (numbers of organized groups and women)

6.12 Contribution to agricultural development

6.13 Rate of improved livelihood of forest dependent communities

6.14 Share of benefits from forest areas in the family income of forest region communities

6.15 Contribution to food security

Indicators of participation among stakeholders in forestry:

6.16 Grassroots participation and equity

6.17 Number and area of resettlement schemes for people living in the forest

6.18 Reduction in the number of forest offenses

6.19 Interest and contributions of the rural communities, media, NGO's, politicians and the public in general for the conservation and development of forests and forestry

Criterion 7: The legal and institutional frameworks


7.1 National forest policy, legislation and regulations

7.2 Institutional instruments and tools

7.3 Concrete implementation and capacity to monitor

7.4 Economic framework and financial instruments

7.5 Community consultation and information tools

7.6 Research and extension capacity

7.7 Valorization of local expertise, knowledge, and local technologies

7.8 Transfer and adaptation of appropriate technologies

7.9 Capacity to implement international instruments

Source: FAO 1999. Practical Guidelines for the implementation of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management in the Near East Region. United Nations Environmental Programme. Regional Office for the Near East, Cairo.

[8] To what extent management plans address environmental, socio economical productivity aspects of SFM.

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