Dr Markku Simula, CEO of the Finnish-based consulting group, INDUFOR, "set the scene" for the Conference. He concluded that the following issues should be considered to enhance the effectiveness of criteria and indicators as a tool for monitoring and assessing trends in forests and for informed decision-making to make progress towards sustainable forest management:
1. The merits of increased comparability and consistency between existing regional/international processes of criteria and indicators, including the possible merits and purpose of a common set at the global level.
2. Need for mechanisms for enhanced coordination, cooperation and information exchange among existing regional and international criteria and indicator processes.
3. The role of criteria and indicators in national forest monitoring, assessment and reporting, and in policy formulation and evaluation, including the criteria and indicators as an output oriented monitoring mechanism for NFPs.
4. The purposes and application of national and sub-national criteria and indicators, including the relationship between them, performance standards and certification
5. The following measures were identified to make an effective use of the criteria and indicators at international, regional and national levels to promote sustainable forest management:
- Rationalize reporting requirements of various forest-related initiatives and instruments through criteria and indicators to reduce reporting burdens on countries.
- Create/strengthen political will to develop and implement criteria and indicators at country, regional and international levels.
- Improve cross-sectoral and institutional coordination and linkages between criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management and initiatives on indicators for sustainable development at international and national levels.
- Build capacity for the development of criteria and indicators and put them into practice, especially in developing countries.
- Strengthen stakeholder participation and partnerships for developing and implementing criteria and indicators.
- Improve synchronization between forest management unit-level criteria and indicators and certification standards.
- Establish linkages between criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management and indicator initiative for sustainable development.