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ABNT Brazilian national standards organization
AF&PA American Forest & Paper Association and Flora
ATO African Timber Organization
C&I Criteria and Indicators
CCAB-AP Consejo Centroamericano de Bosques y Areas Protegidas (Central American Council of Forests and Protected Areas)
CCAD Comisión Centroamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo (Central American Commission on Environment and Development)
CCFM Canadian Council of Forest Ministers
CCFM Council of Forest Ministers
CERFLOR Brazilian national forestry certification standard
CFS Canadian Forest Service
CG Core group
CI&S Criteria, indicators and standards
CIB Certification implementation body
CIFOR-NA Center for International Forestry Research - North American test of C&I
CMHC Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation
COWG Communication and outreach work group
CSFM Committee for Sustainable Forest Management
CBD Convention on Biological Diversity
CBFM Community-based forest management
CBMS Community-based monitoring system
CBO Community-based organised
CCD Convention to Combat Desertification
CGIAR Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
CICI International Conference on the Contribution of Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management: The Way Forward
CIFOR Center for International Forestry Research
CILSS Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel
CIMAT Criteria and Indicators Modification and Adaptation Tool
CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna CPF Collaborative Partnership on Forests
COFO Committee on Forestry
COP Conference of Parties
CSCE Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe
DENR Department of Environment and Natural Resources
ECE United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
ECOSOC United Nations Economic and Social Council
EPM Environmental performance monitoring
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FGDC Federal Geographic Data Committee
FGIS Forest Geographic Information System
FIPA Fortalecimiento Institucional de Políticas Ambientales (Guatemala)
FMIS Forest Management Information System
FMU forest management unit
FORENET Integrated forest information network
FRA Forest Resources Assessment (coordinated by FAO)
FRIS Forestry resource information system
FSC Forest Stewardship Council
FWPRDC Forest and Wood Products Research and Development Corporation
GSB Ghana Standards Board
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GEF Global Environment Facility (of the World Bank)
GFRA Global Forest Resources Assessment
IDP Integrated development planning
IFF Intergovernmental Forum on Forests
IIFM Indian Institute of Forest Management
IISD International Institute for Sustainable Development
INFORCOM Information and communication service for sustainable development
INTA National Institute for Agricultural Technology
ISO International Standards Organization
ILO International Labor Organization
INAB Instituto Nacional de Bosques, Guatemala
IPF Intergovernmental Panel on Forests
ISCI International Seminar on Criteria and Indicators
ITTO International Tropical Timber Organization
IUCN World Conservation Union
IUFRO International Union of Forestry Research Organizations
JFMC Joint Forest Management Committees
LAN Local area network
LIDIG Local Indicators Development and Implementation Group
LIFE Living in a finite environment
LLI Local level indicators
LLI local-level indicators
LUCID local-unit criteria and indicators development
MAR Monitoring, Assessment and Reporting
MC&I Malaysian Criteria and Indicators
MCFFA Ministerial Council on Forestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture
MCPFE Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe
MET Ministry of Environment and Tourism
MIG Montreal Process Implementation Group for Australia
MMFA McGregor Model Forest Association
MOP Manual of procedures
MOU Memorandum of Understanding
NAP National Action Plan
NAPCOD Namibia Programme to Combat Desertification
NCC National Certification Council
NCSSF National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry
NEMA National Environmental Management Act
NFA National Forest Act
NFI National forest inventory
NFMA National Forest Management Act
nfps National forest programmes
NGO Non-governmental organization
NIWT National inventory of woodland and trees
NRC National Research Council
NTCC National Timber Certification Council (Malaysia)
NTF National Task Force
ODA Overseas Development Assistance
OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
OTCA Organização do Tratado de Cooperação Amazônica
PC&I Principles, Criteria and Indicators
PCIM Principles, criteria, indicators and measures
PCSD Presidential Commission on Sustainable Development
PEFT Pan-European forest certification
PEOLG Pan-European Operational Level Guidelines
PO People's organization
QFM Quality forest management
RFA Regional forest agreements
S&T Science and technology
SADC South Africa Development Community
SBS Brazilian Society for Silviculture
SCIP Sustainable communities indicator programme
SD Sustainable development
SFI Sustainable Forestry Initiative
SFM Sustainable Forest Management
STCP Engenharia de Projetos Ltda
SWI South West Indiana
TAC Technical Advisory Committee
TBFRA Temperate and Boreal Forest Resource Assessment
TFL Tree felling licence
TUC Timber utilisation contract
TWG Technical work group
UNCCD United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
UNCED United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
UNFF United Nations Forum on Forests
USDA United States Department of Agriculture
WAN Wide area network
WHC World Heritage Convention
WSD World Commission on Sustainable Development
WSSDWorld Summit on Sustainable Development


The Organizing Committee of the International Conference on the Contribution of Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management: The Way Forward (CICI-2003) formed by the Instituto Nacional de Bosques of Guatemala, FAO, ITTO, US Department of State, US Forest Service and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland, would like to extend its sincere appreciation to the Government of Guatemala, including the Ministry of Agriculture and the national Immigration and Foreign Affairs authorities, for their active contribution to the organization of the International Conference that lead to its success.

Appreciation is also extended to the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Conference, Chairpersons and Rapporteurs of the Working Groups, the Keynote speaker, and the authors and presenters of the background papers and case studies.

Throughout the planning period of CICI-2003, a great number of useful and constructive suggestions were received from the members of the International Advisory Committee of CICI-2003 and from other experts of various countries and organizations. The success of this meeting could not have been possible without such support.

It is hoped that the results of this Conference will serve to enhance the development, implementation and use of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management as tools for monitoring, assessment and reporting on forest conditions and trends by countries, as well as for influencing national policies and practices and international cooperation and collaboration in pursuing sustainable forest management - the forest sector's contribution to sustainable development.


The International Conference on the Contribution of Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management: The Way Forward (CICI-2003) was organized as a follow-up to recommendations made by the FAO/ITTO/UNEP/CIFOR/IUFRO Expert Consultation on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (Rome, November 2000). These recommendations were subsequently endorsed by the 15th Session of the FAO Committee on Forestry in March 2001 and supported by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) at its 30th Council Session.

The Conference was hosted by the Instituto Nacional de Bosques of Guatemala (INAB) and co-sponsored by FAO, ITTO and the Governments of Finland and the United States of America. After the Intergovernmental Seminar on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (ISCI) hosted by the Government of Finland (Helsinki, August 1996), CICI-2003 was the second largest international conference covering the subject. The Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) had previously stressed the need for a follow-up to ISCI.

The Conference was attended by 109 invited experts from 51 countries, 10 international organizations, secretariats of nine regional/eco-regional criteria and indicator processes, the private sector and non-governmental organizations. A keynote address, four discussion papers and nine case studies - three for each of the first three objectives of the Conference - were presented. No case studies were planned for Objective 4. Besides other very important information, such as the objectives of CICI-2003, Volume 1 of the Conference also contains the results of the Working Group sessions in which the case studies were presented, as well as the conclusions and recommendations of the Conference. Volume 2 of the Conference contains the scene setting paper and the four background papers. Only the summaries of the case studies are included in this volume as it is intended that readers interested in more complete information and other details about a particular case should contact the corresponding author directly.

In order to achieve the four objectives of CICI-2003, the Conference passed 24 recommendations, which are reproduced in Volume 1. The most significant one is summarized as follows:

"That countries consider using criteria and indicators as essential tools to report to UNFF on progress towards sustainable forest management to help ensure that the forum's dialogue be clearly focused on sustainable forest management and that it recognize the contribution of criteria and indicators, as well as sustainable forest management, to other sectors and to sustainable development."

Regarding a possible "common set of criteria" the Conference agreed to refer to "a common framework of thematic areas, based on criteria developed within the ongoing international and regional criteria and indicator processes". It was noted that such criteria were based on those identified in existing international (eco-regional) and regional criteria and indicator processes and that they included the following thematic areas: extent of forest resources; biological diversity; forest health and vitality; productive functions; protective functions; socio-economic functions; and legal, policy and institutional framework.

On behalf of the Organizing Committee of CICI-2003, FAO would like to express its sincere thanks to all those who helped organize the event including the members of the International Advisory Committee as well as to all participants whose participation was extremely important and fruitful. Thanks are also extended to all those experts who wrote valuable documents and made excellent presentations during the Conference.

El Hadji Sène
Forest Resources Division
Forestry Department - FAO
International Conference on the Contribution of Criteria and Indicators
for Sustainable Forest Management: The Way Forward
Guatemala City, Guatemala, 3-7 February 2003



The International Conference on the Contribution of Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management: the way forward (CICI-2003) was hosted by the National Forest Service of Guatemala (Instituto Nacional de Bosques, INAB) in Guatemala City, 3-7 February 2003, with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and the Governments of Finland and the United States of America.

CICI-2003 brought together 109 experts representing 73 governments, international organizations, criteria and indicator processes, and private sector and non-government groups to consider ways to: (1) Strengthen elaboration and implementation of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management, (2) promote political commitment for their use, (3) strengthen institutional capacity and stakeholder partnerships and (4) contribute to the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) and international initiatives on indicators related to sustainable development.

CICI-2003 recognized the role of criteria and indicators in building a common understanding of sustainable forest management, coordinating data collection and dissemination, monitoring and assessing forest conditions, and influencing national policies and practices as well as international cooperation on forests. It also recognized that sustainability is a dynamic concept and that criteria and indicators will evolve to reflect experience gained, new scientific information and changing values of society. In charting "the way forward", CICI-2003 agreed on 30 conclusions and 24 recommendations for national and international action. These conclusions and recommendations are found in Section VI (pages 4 - 11). They may be summarized as follows:

a) Criteria and indicators have many applications, including as a framework for setting goals, facilitating and monitoring sustainable forest management and the effectiveness of national forests programmes and policies, certification, strategic planning, communicating progress to policy makers and the public and building bridges among stakeholders. Countries should integrate criteria and indicators into national forest programmes or similar policy frameworks and other processes related to sustainable development.

b) Political commitment at all levels, especially the national level, is essential to developing and implementing criteria and indicators and should be enhanced. Regional commitment can also provide a powerful framework for national efforts and coordinated requests for external assistance, facilitate shared views and make best use of technical capabilities.

c) Stakeholder participation advances understanding of the benefits of criteria and indicators and generates long-term commitment to action on sustainable forest management. Countries should promote broad participation of all relevant stakeholders in a transparent, continuous and iterative process, using existing and innovative mechanisms. Universities and other educational institutions should incorporate in their curricula the latest information on sustainable forest management and skills to develop and implement criteria and indicators.

d) There is a need to enhance capacity, especially in developing countries, to implement criteria and indicators. Developing countries should create an enabling environment to attract domestic and foreign forest investment, including capacity building for criteria and indicators, mobilize other resources through bi-lateral and international partnerships, seek support through FAO, ITTO and the Global Environment Facility, and help ensure more efficient use of existing mechanisms. The donor community should support these efforts by providing financial support, technology and know-how.

e) National level indicators developed in regional and international processes may need to be adapted to country conditions and all may not be relevant at sub-national levels. Countries may determine national progress towards sustainable forest management by aggregating lower level indicators if these levels are representative of countrywide conditions.

f) To enhance coordination among countries and processes, FAO and ITTO should convene an international expert consultation to consider: (a) developing a communication network among processes, countries and other relevant partners; (b) improving common understanding and harmonization of concepts, terms and definitions; (c) identifying common approaches and methods for collecting, storing and sharing data; (d) strengthening processes and inter-process cooperation; (e) the merits of forming an ad hoc international technical advisory group to address technical issues related to criteria and indicators. Results should provide inputs to UNFF between its 3rd and 4th Sessions.

g) National and international institutions should carry out research on criteria and indicators that are difficult to measure, including biodiversity, non-timber forest products, non-market values, soil and water conservation, carbon sequestration, and social and cultural aspects.

In considering the potential benefits of a common set of criteria based on existing sets elaborated by regional and international processes, participants acknowledged seven common thematic areas: (1) extent of forest resources, (2) biological diversity, (3) forest health and vitality, (4) productive functions of forest resources, (5) protective functions of forest resources, (6) socio-economic functions and (7) legal, policy and institutional framework.

i) National forest assessments and inventories are a basic source of information on indicators. Countries should incorporate the main elements of criteria and indicators into their assessments and develop cost-efficient data collection strategies.

j) Better cooperation is needed among national and international organizations collecting forest data. FAO should use the thematic areas common to all regional and international sets of national-level criteria in the overall framework for the Global Forest Resources Assessment (GFRA), while helping to ensure specific national aspects are incorporated. GFRA information should facilitate use of criteria and indicators nationally and internationally, including in UNFF, and improve the compatibility of information from different sources.

k) The FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO) should reaffirm implementation of criteria and indicators as an FAO priority, including technical assistance and capacity building through the National Forest Programme Facility, and strengthen FAO's role in facilitating collaboration among criteria and indicator processes.

l) Countries should ensure that UNFF recognizes the contribution of criteria and indicators to sustainable forest management and in turn sustainable development, and helps rationalize national forest-related reporting. Countries should consider using criteria and indicators to report progress on sustainable forest management to UNFF. The Collaborative Partnership on Forests' Task Force on Streamlining Reporting should take into account work on criteria and indicators, recommend to respective governing bodies ways to reduce national reporting, invite criteria and indicator processes and countries with reporting experience to participate in its work, and promote use of criteria and indicators in other initiatives on indicators.

m) The contribution of forests to poverty alleviation, water, energy, health, agriculture and biological diversity is not well recognized. Better national and international coordination is needed to help ensure that sustainable forest management contribute to and benefit from developments in these and other sectors, as well as sustainable development overall. Countries, international organizations and UNFF should work to increase public awareness of the potential application of forest criteria and indicators to other sectors and initiatives on indicators for sustainable development (e.g. in CBD, CSD and OECD) and maintain forests on national and international policy agendas.

The Conference requested the Government of Guatemala to present the results of CICI-2003 to all relevant regional and international forest fora throughout 2003, beginning with the 16th Session of COFO in March 2003.

International Conference on the Contribution of Criteria and Indicators
for Sustainable Forest Management: The Way Forward

Scene Setting Paper


Markku Simula
INDUFOR, Finland


The authors have received valuable contributions from Kathryn Buchanan, Froylán Castañeda, Patrick Durst, Steven Johnson, Peter Mayer, William B. Mankin, Christel Palmberg-Lerche, Ram Prasad, E. Siisi-Wilson, François Tapsoba and Tiina Vähänen, which were highly appreciated.


1 Background

Since the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) undertook its pioneering work in the 1990s to develop criteria and indicators (C&I) for sustainable management of natural tropical forests, several similar international and regional initiatives have emerged. This activity has been a response to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) as Chapter 11 of Agenda 21 called for the formulation of scientifically sound criteria and guidelines for the management and sustainable development of all types of forests. The UNCED adopted the "Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global Consensus on the Management and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests ("Forest Principles"). These two UNCED documents laid down the basis for a major international exercise which has been taken under nine major regional processes to develop and put into practice the C&I for sustainable forest management (SFM). Governments and many other stakeholders had recognized the pressing need to reach a common understanding of what is meant by, how to evaluate progress towards, and how to achieve, SFM (Buchanan, 2002).

The various parallel initiatives (Table 1.1) worked largely independent from each other and it was soon realized that a certain degree of harmonization as well as improved communication and coordination between them could be beneficial. In 1995, FAO and ITTO organized an Expert Consultation on this issue (FAO/ITTO 1995) which was followed by the Intergovernmental Seminar on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (ISCI). The Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) had adopted criteria & indicators as one of its program elements and the ISCI Seminar was one of the Panel's intersessional events. In February 1997, the IPF endorsed the concept of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management and made a series of proposals for action to develop and use them. In 2000, FAO organized an Expert Consultation in collaboration with UNEP, ITTO, CIFOR and IUFRO on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management. Its main recommendation was to organize an International Conference on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management to enhance progress in this field.

Table 1.1 International Processes on Criteria and Indicators for SFM




MCPFE ("Pan-European"/"Helsinki" Process)


Montreal Process

Tarapoto Proposal

Dry Zone Africa


ATO Principles, Criteria and Indicators (PC&I)


Near East


Lepaterique - Central America


Dry Forest Asia

Parallel to the work carried out in the forestry sector, similar initiatives involving criteria and/or indicators have emerged under other international instruments or processes where forests are part of another focal theme, such as sustainable development (OECD and CSD), biodiversity conservation (CBD), combating desertification and deforestation (CCD), etc. (Rametsteiner & Wijewardana, 2002).

The FAO/ITTO Expert Consultation (1995) saw criteria and indicators as

The ISCI Seminar concluded with the following definition:

FAO (2000) used the following definition:

The various definitions share the same goal (promotion of SFM) and common elements but they have somewhat different emphasis. As ITTO from the very beginning, the FAO/ITTO and ISCI definitions focus on C&I as a policy tool and an instrument to measure progress towards the achievement of SFM. This is also apparent in the UNFF's work where C&I are mainly seen as a major mechanism of Monitoring, Assessment and Reporting (MAR) (UNFF 2001). The definition by FAO takes a step further linking the C&I with the search for improved forest management practices. According to the FAO Expert Consultation, C&I consider forests as complex and dynamic ecosystems and reflect an ecosystem approach to SFM (FAO, 2000).

The purpose of this paper is to provide background information on the evolution and current status of the international C&I processes and related activities, and identify challenges and opportunities to make a better use of this policy instrument in contributing to the achievement of its final goal, i.e. sustainable forest management, both at the national and forest management unit levels.

2 Status of implementation of criteria and indicator related recommendations made at international fora


In the international forest policy fora, the role of the C&I for SFM has been clearly defined. The relevant provisions of the IPF and IFF reports have been reproduced in Annex 1. The following observations can be made:

 The IPF saw a range of multiple roles for the C&I, including:

 The IPF noted that:

Apart from encouraging countries to develop and implement C&I, certain actions were proposed to be taken at international level:

(i) It was recognized that a common understanding would be needed at international level on key concepts, definitions and terms of formulation and developing C&I and respective methodologies for data collection. This would mean enhancing comparatibility and compatibility between various international and regional processes.

(ii) Drawing on commonalties between various C&I sets and the Forest Principles consistency should be improved in reporting on forest assessments and SFM.

(iii) The development of appropriate C&I for application at the regional level should be considered, in particular for forests in similar ecological zones.

(iv) International cooperation was important and should be enhanced.

IPF also stressed that C&I should not be used as grounds for conditionality in the provision of ODA.

While the IPF had defined a fairly broad potential role for C&I as a policy instrument, the IFF focused its attention on the role of C&I as a tool for reviewing, monitoring and reporting on the state of, and trends in, all types of forests, and for assessing progress towards SFM. This was seen as parallel to monitoring, assessing and reporting on the implementation of the IPF Proposals for Action. Indeed, the reporting on C&I for SFM may provide valuable basic information for assessing implementation of the IFP Proposals for Action even though the two are conceptually different. The Secretary-General's report to UNFF-2 stated that "IPF/IFF proposals for action are aimed at giving guidance on how to further develop, implement and coordinate policy-related actions at national, regional and international levels. They are targeted at governments, international organizations, the private sector as well as non-governmental organizations. Criteria and indicators are tools for promoting, achieving as well as reporting on sustainable forest management". In this context, the IFF had encouraged to develop harmonized, cost-effective and comprehensive reporting formats where overlaps should be avoided. In view of the resource constraints, the international community may have to decide which type of reporting should be prioritized.

The intersessional workshop on MAR organized in Yokohama in November 2001, examined in detail the potential role of C&I in monitoring, assessment and reporting on SFM and the implementation of the IPF Proposals for Action (ECOSOC, 2002). Monitoring, assessment and reporting on progress in UNFF means progress towards SFM and progress in implementation of IPF/IFF proposals for action, which also provides basis for assessing effectiveness of the international arrangement on forests. Although IPF/IFF Proposals for Action and C&I for SFM are different tools, there are linkages between them and further discussion is needed to explore these linkages with a view of simplifying reporting and reducing reporting burden on countries. A common understanding of concepts, terminology and definitions was considered important to increase comparability and compatibility of forest data. UNFF-2 noted that development of nfps as well as work on C&I have led to a better understanding of concepts, terminology and definitions but further work in this field was deemed necessary (FAO 2002).

The international forest policy development process since the UNCED originally defined a rather broad role for C&I. At international level, the role has, however, increasingly been seen as an instrument for MAR. Many parties see a clear need for greater comparability, compatibility and convergence between the various sets of international and regional C&I processes. Due to the fact that the various C&I processes have been working independently from each other, the progress in enhancing comparability and compatibility has been slow due to lack of a common forum where the issue could be taken up in operational terms. Without a concerted effort involving all the processes, progress in achieving a higher degree of compatibility and convergence between the various C&I sets is likely to be slow.

Most of the progress made in implementing the IPF Proposals for Action related to the C&I has taken place under the international and regional processes. At international level, the work of many members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests CPF, in particular FAO, UNEP, ITTO, CIFOR and IUCN, to support various processes and development of national C&I has been crucial. In 1998, the CIFOR/FAO/IUFRO International Conference on Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management was held to foster stakeholder inputs to advance development and field level implementation of scientifically-based indicators.

2.2 Convention on Biological Diversity

The Fourth Conference of Parties (COP-4) of the CBD adopted a work program on forest biodiversity which included necessary methodologies to advance the elaboration and implementation of criteria and indicators for forest biological diversity. The approach is based on research targeted at forestry activities to determine and advance the methodology for elaborating and implementing the criteria and indicators of forest biological diversity. Drawing upon existing and ongoing work at the national, regional and international levels, coordination with the IFF was recognized as an important approach.

The work related to indicators of forest biological diversity could also imply the need for an inventory to assess current status and trends in forest biological diversity, at the local and national level based on repeated assessment of the selected indicators. The work could also include, inter alia, capacity-building on taxonomy and inventories, taking note of the work under the Global Taxonomy Initiative.

The COP-6 of the CBD in 2002 focused its work on forest biodiversity. Parties were requested to report on the implementation of the Convention calling for "recognition of criteria and indicators". On improving knowledge on, and methods for assessment of status and trends in forest biodiversity, "the objective is to advance the development and implementation of criteria and indicators".

The international C&I sets include biological diversity as one of their criteria within the context of SFM (cf. Chapter 4). In the case of the CBD, the forest-related criteria and indicators to be developed will be targeted at the conservation and sustainability of biological diversity as well as equitable sharing of respective benefits which are the key objectives of the Convention. As regards forest ecosystems, their biodiversity criteria and indicators need to be closely coordinated with the C&I for SFM. This was also recognized by the IPF which requested the COP of the CBD take note of the various existing initiatives on C&I to ensure that the work done by the CBD would be consistent with and complementary to them3. It needs to be pointed out that the status of the two C&I instruments will be different: the C&I for biological diversity will be linked with a legally binding convention, while the C&I for SFM are purely voluntary instruments. This is one reason why progress in their application of the latter has been relatively slow (cf. Chapter 3).

3 Status of Implementation by International Criteria and Indicator Processes

3.1 Overview

The nine on-going international regional C&I initiatives and processes are at different levels of maturity (Table 3.1). Three processes (MCPFE, Montreal and ITTO) have a track record in putting the concept into practice while elsewhere field level achievements have been more modest. About 150 countries are members of one or more processes which suggests that C&I has potential to become one of the most widely spread forest policy instrument in the world. Lacking implementation at country level means, however, that much of the potential still remains untapped.

Table 3.1 International Initiatives and Processes on Criteria and Indicators


Number of countries involved

Region (vegetation zone/geographic area)

MCPFE (Pan-European Process)

41 a)

European boreal and temperate forests

Montreal Process

12 b)

Temperate forests in America, Asia, Pacific


31 c)

Tropical natural forests

Tarapoto Proposal

8 d)

Amazon Basin

African Timber Organization

14 e)

Tropical forests of Africa

African Dry-Zone Process

30 f)

Sub-Saharan Africa

Near East Process

30 g)

Near East

Dry Forest Asia Initiative

9 h)

South Asia and Mongolia, China, Myanmar, Thailand

Lepaterique Process

7 i)

Central America

Total number of countries involved



a) Russia is also under the Montreal Process and Turkey is also under the Near East Process.

b) China is also under the Dry Forest Asia Initiative

c) Producing member countries; total number of members is 57.

d) All countries are also ITTO producing member countries.

e) In the ATO Process 9 countries are ITTO Producing Member Countries and 3 countries belong to Africa Dry Zone: Angola (Dry Zone Africa), Cameroon (ITTO), Central African Republic (ITTO), Congo (ITTO), Côte d'Ivoire (ITTO), Democratic Republic of Congo (ITTO and Dry Zone Africa), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon (ITTO), Ghana (ITTO), Liberia (ITTO), Nigeria, Sao Tome et Principe, Tanzania (Dry Zone Africa) and Togo (ITTO).

f) Four countries belong to the Near East Process as well.

g) Four countries are also African Dry-Zone process members (Djibouti, Mauritania, Somalia and Sudan), one is MCPFE member (Turkey) and one is ITTO consuming member country (Egypt).

h) Five countries are also ITTO members, three producing member (India, Myanmar and Thailand) and two consuming member countries (China and Nepal); China is also Montreal Process member.

i) Three countries are also ITTO producing member countries (Guatemala, Honduras and Panama).

ITTO has had a pioneering role both in developing and implementing C&I. ITTO's Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests were initially developed in 1992, and in 1998 they were revised. The Pan-European criteria and indicators for SFM were adopted on the expert level in 1994 and they were formally endorsed in 1998. The Montreal Process was launched in 1993 and their C&I were concluded in 1995. In the same year, eight countries in the Amazon region initiated the Tarapoto Proposal. FAO and UNEP supported three processes on C&I launched in the mid-1990s: the African Dry Zone Process covering the sub-Saharan area, the Near East Process, and the Dry Forest Asia initiative. In addition to these, the criteria and indicators have been developed in Central America under the Lepaterique Process launched in 1997 and in Africa under the auspices of the African Timber Organization (ATO). Major events recorded under each process are summarized in Annex 2 which also gives an idea of the status of progress in each process.

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has been active in promoting the development and assessment of C&I in tropical countries, focusing especially on forest management unit level, and its role in capacity building has been significant. CIFOR has done pathbreaking work in testing various sets of C&I in local conditions and, as a result, a comprehensive toolkit for developing C&I has been published (CIFOR 1999). CIFOR has been involved in the development of international C&I sets and country-level testing and training. CIFOR's technical assistance to the development of the ATO Principles, Criteria & Indicators (PCI) was particularly important.


Since its inception in 1990, the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE) has been an ongoing initiative for cooperation to address common threats and opportunities related to forests and forestry. The process is constituted by a chain of political level conferences and mechanisms for the follow-up work and is characterized by a strong political commitment.

In 1993, the second Ministerial Conference adopted the Helsinki Resolutions H1 and H2 which contain the general principles for the sustainable management of European forests and the protection of their biodiversity. The Resolution H1 is particularly important as it contains the definition of sustainable forest management.

For the purpose of monitoring the implementation of the Helsinki resolutions, the criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management were adopted on the expert level in 1994. They were endorsed by the third Ministerial Conference in Lisbon in 1998 (L2) as a basis for international reporting and the development of national indicators. Furthermore, a resolution on the promotion of the socio-economic and cultural functions of forests (L2) was also adopted.

The Pan-European criteria and indicators are considered an instrument for measuring and reporting progress towards sustainable forest management in Europe as a whole. A complementary instrument, the Pan-European Operational Level Guidelines (PEOLG), was also adopted in Lisbon. PEOLG is designed for sub-national application at a practical level and represent a common framework of recommendations for sustainable forest management that can be used on a voluntary basis ( The PEOLG contains specifications for performance of forest management and was later adapted as the regional framework for voluntary national certification standards to be endorsed by the Pan-European Forest Certification system.

Reporting on C&I has been done twice at the Pan-European level to provide overall, European-wide picture on the status of forest resources and management, in particular for the Lisbon Conference in 1998, with the help of the UNECE/FAO which carried out the data collection for indicators through the component of the global forest resources assessment (FRA) dealing with developed temperate and boreal forests (known as the "TBFRA 2000").

Finland has been one of the pioneering countries in the development and application of national-level C&I for SFM which were completed in 1997. The national set was revised in 2000 to adapt the national C&I for monitoring of the national forest program and regional forest programs (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, 2000). Similar projects for the development of national C&I have been carried out in several other European countries, including the Czech Republic, France, Germany and UK.

3.3 Montreal Process

In September 1993, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) sponsored a "Seminar of Experts on Sustainable Development of Boreal and Temperate Forests" in Montreal to promote an exchange on measurable criteria and indicators for evaluating progress in efforts to achieve sustainable forestry. In 1994, countries that had participated in an earlier conference formed a working group, known as the "Montreal Process", to advance the development of internationally agreed-upon criteria and indicators for the conservation and management of temperate and boreal forests outside Europe. Of all the C&I initiatives, the Montreal Process is geographically the largest, encompassing most of the world's temperate and boreal forests, including temperate forests in the Southern Hemisphere.

In 1995, the Montreal Process countries issued a declaration, in Santiago de Chile, containing the set of C&I for SFM. Prior to the Working Group's eighth meeting, held in Canberra, Australia in 1996, the Liaison Office surveyed the participating countries and prepared a report on "Status of data and ability to report on the Montreal Process Criteria and Indicators" summarizing key issues raised by countries on data availability and their capacity to report on the criteria and indicators. A considerable effort has since been given to data availability, reporting and consideration of specific country conditions under the Montreal Process. Progress Reports have been prepared (1997 and 2000).

An ad hoc and task-oriented group called the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) was established to provide advice on the definition of terms, an examination of the use of forest type as a means to characterize biodiversity, and the development of approaches to gathering data. Later on, TAC's work was expanded to include examination of such issues as data collection and reporting, application of C&I to subnational levels, technical cooperation, information sharing, etc. (

Montreal Process countries are currently working on their first national reports on the framework of criteria and indicators. In 2001, the Working Group agreed on a proposed outline for the "Highlights on Trends" section of the Overview Report, including a sub-set of seven indicators on which all countries will report using an agreed format. Once the Montreal Process has produced a first substantive report, the Group will look at how the indicators may be improved.

3.4 ITTO

The ITTO Criteria and Indicators were elaborated in 1992 for the assessment of management and progress towards sustainability in forestry. In 1998, ITTO prepared and published a document ("Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests"), to update the original C&I taking into account subsequent developments in this field to reflect experience gained from tropical countries and developments related to improved understanding of the components of SFM (ITTO 1998, Parallel to this process, the Organization has developed guidelines for various SFM activities, including sustainable management of natural tropical forests (1990) and planted tropical forests (1993), as well as for conservation of biological diversity in tropical production forests (1993) and for fire management (1997).

In order to enhance the application of the C&I, a Manual was prepared in 1999 and three regional training courses were organized. Several country-level projects to develop national C&I and to train local stakeholders have been implemented in countries such as Brazil, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Malaysia, Myanmar, etc. (cf. Section 6.2).

3.5 Tarapoto Proposal

The Tarapoto Proposal for sustainability of the Amazonian Forests was agreed on in a regional workshop in 1995. National consultations for validation were conducted in each of the participating countries between December 1996 and July 2000 to evaluate the relevance and applicability of these criteria and indicators in light of national conditions and needs. Brazil has developed national C&I based on the Tarapoto Proposal in 2001. The completion of this exercise has led to the "launching" of Tarapoto II.

3.6 Lepaterique Process of Central America

An Expert Meeting held in 1997 concluded with a regional process on C&I for SFM in Central America. The meeting was followed by two subregional training workshops and seven national seminars which reviewed applicability and availability of data and made recommendations on future implementation. Countries concerned are, at present, carrying out national validation exercises to review the criteria and indicators identified. The Lepaterique Process has been linked to the implementation of the Central American Forest Convention which defines a regional policy for SFM and forest protection.

3.7 African Timber Organization

The development of the first set of Principles, Criteria & Indicators (PC&I) for the management of the African tropical forest was started in 1993 and it was adopted by the ATO Ministerial Conference in 1996. With the assistance of CIFOR, tests were arranged in five countries (Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana and the Central African Republic). The work was linked with the development of a revised set at regional level which was concluded in 2001 involving several workshops and assessment of compatibility with the ITTO C&I and the Principles & Criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). In 2001, a harmonized ATO/ITTO PC&I was produced in a regional workshop. Three countries have developed their national PC&I (Cameroon, Gabon and Ghana).

3.8 Dry-Zone Africa Process

The first meeting on C&I for SFM in Dry Zone Africa was held in 1995. A number of national and regional workshops and expert meetings have been held to review the applicability of the criteria and indicators in countries concerned, to discuss the availability of information and national capacities for collection and analysis of data, and to elaborate a plan of action for implementation. Two subregional follow-up meetings of national coordinators have also been held, covering countries in SADC and CILSS countries. Following recommendations of the former, practical guidelines for the assessment and measurement of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management in dry-zone Africa have been published (UNEP/FAO 2000).

3.9 Near East Process

The regional Expert Meeting which elaborated the C&I for SFM in the Near East took place in 1996. This was followed by a Workshop of the national Focal Points on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management. A number of regional workshops and expert meetings have been held to review the applicability of the criteria and indicators in countries concerned and to discuss the availability of information and national capacities for collection and analysis of data. Guidelines for assessment and measurement were published in 2000 (FAO/UNEP 2000).

3.10 Regional Initiative of Dry Forest Asia

This is the most recent one of the international initiatives related to C&I. A workshop which developed the regionally applicable national-level set of C&I for SFM in Dry Forests in Asia/South Asia took place at the end of 1999. Guidelines for assessment and measurement are to be published early 2003.

1 This is the Executive Summary as it appears in the Conference's Report, Volume 1.

2 Managing Director, INDUFOR; Toolonkatu 11 A, 00100 Helsinki; Finland. Tel: 358-96840110; Fax: 358-91352552;

3 IPF report para 115 (f).

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