Conference on the Contribution of Criteria and Indicators
for Sustainable Forest Management: The Way Forward
Guatemala City, Guatemala
3 - 7 February 2003
Objective 3: Strengthening institutional capacity and stakeholder partnerships to implement criteria and indicators and facilitate the exchange of information
between all stakeholders
Chairperson: Ms Christina Amoako-Nuama, Ghana
Rapporteur: Dr Eva Mόller, ITTO
The discussions held and the conclusions and recommendations produced by this Working Group are based on (1) the background discussion paper introduced in plenary by Dr Ravi Prabhu (CIFOR) entitled "Strengthening institutional capacity and stakeholder partnerships to implement criteria and indicators and facilitate the exchange of information between all stakeholders" and (2) the following three case studies presented in this working group session:
1. "The challenges and values of stakeholder participation: American Forest and Paper Association experiences with criteria and indicators". Mr Marvin D. Brown Director, Private Forest Lands Management, American Forest and Paper Association, Washington, DC.
2. "Indigenous measures of sustainability: developing local-level criteria and indicators". Dr. P. C. Kotwal and Dharmendra Chandrukar, National Project Leader and Project Manager, respectively, of the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) - ITTO Project, IIFM, Bhopal, India.
3. "Commitment and credibility created with wide stakeholder participation, long-term data base and research". Jari Parviainen; Director, Dr. For., Finnish Forest Research Institute, and Jouni Suoheimo, Senior Adviser, Dr. For., Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland.
Conclusions and recommendations
There is insufficient capacity to fully realize the potential of criteria and indicators as tools for sustainable forest management, especially in developing countries and specifically at local level.
There is a need to improve transparency of the work of forest administrations, including their control and supervision functions.
Innovative ways to implement administrative functions of forestry institutions need to be developed. This may include outsourcing of some monitoring and control functions related to the implementation of criteria and indicators.
International cooperation should give priority to supporting capacity building for developing and implementing criteria and indicators as a tool for improved forest management practices.
[International donors should assist developing countries to prepare project proposals related to criteria and indicators for funding by the GEF].
Forest administrations should develop and implement criteria and indicators in collaboration with forest owners and managers, other sectors, NGOs, the research community and other stakeholders. Capacity building needs to cover all stakeholders involved in the criteria and indicator process.
Stakeholder participation is a unique and effective way to promote sustainable forest management and criteria and indicators.
There are a number of innovative mechanisms for promoting stakeholder participation and dialogue in criteria and indicators development and implementation (roundtables, public opinion polls, joint forest management committees, using existing fora such as municipal committees, etc).
Effective stakeholder participation can be assured if their needs and interests are addressed (including access to benefits of sustainable forest management) when defining criteria and indicators.
There is a need to create awareness among stakeholders of the tangible benefits derived from criteria and indicators.
Monitoring of criteria and indicators implementation can improve the credibility of communities as capable forest managers.
Countries should promote innovative mechanisms for effective stakeholder participation at all levels.
Stakeholder participation should be part of a transparent, continuous, iterative process of developing and implementing criteria and indicators and monitoring progress.
Public outreach and education are powerful tools to promote sustainable forest management and criteria and indicators but are insufficiently used.
The contribution of sustainable forest management to poverty alleviation, water conservation, biodiversity and energy supply is still insufficiently understood.
There is inadequate understanding about the role of sustainable forest management among many stakeholders. Targeted messages should take into account the perceptions, needs and capability of different stakeholder groups (urban dwellers, indigenous groups, etc.).
Use existing national- and local-level fora as communication channels for criteria and indicators.
Forestry education should be improved to provide the necessary skills for developing and implementing criteria and indicators including communication, stakeholder participation, conflict management, etc.
Outreach activities on sustainable forest management and criteria and indicators should include other related sectors such as water, biodiversity, energy, agriculture and health.
The forestry sector, including relevant international organizations, should proactively engage with other sectors to increase awareness and maintain forestry on the international and national political agendas.
Member countries of regional and international processes should submit their national criteria and indicators-based forest reports to UNFF to help inform UNFF decision-making on monitoring, assessment and reporting issues.
Exchange of experience and information (national, international)
Several international and national organizations collect forest-related data, but with little coordination.
More cooperation and coordination is needed between organizations and bodies collecting forest-related data at the international and national levels.
South-south cooperation should be strengthened at all levels. This should include making use of existing and new networks, ministerial-level conferences and other appropriate mechanisms.
Exchange of experience and knowledge of innovative methods of public forest administration (e.g. outsourcing, delegation) should be encouraged and supported.
The coverage and quality of available data is a major constraint for the effective implementation of criteria and indicators.
At the local level there is a need for research that produces results related to criteria and indicators in the short and medium term to meet the needs of communities.
Further research should be carried out on indicators that are currently difficult to assess including biodiversity, non-timber forest products, non-market values, soil and water conservation, carbon sequestration and social aspects.
FAO and IUFRO should facilitate research on indicators of protective functions of forests, including water.
CBD, CCD and UNFCCC should facilitate research to improve sustainable forest management-related indicators for biodiversity, land restoration and carbon cycles.
Carry out research to improve the integration of criteria and indicators into forest management information and communication systems as well as forest and policy reform processes.