Criteria and Indicators - for sustainable forest management
Criteria and indicators are tools used to define, assess and monitor periodic progress towardssustainable forest management in a given country or in a specified forest area, over a period of time.
The ultimate aim of criteria and indicators is to promote improved forest management practices over time, and to further the development of a healthier and more productive forest estate, taking into consideration the social, economic, environmental, cultural and spiritual needs of the full range of stakeholder groups in countries concerned.
Criteria define the essential elements against which sustainability is assessed, with due consideration paid to the productive, protective and social roles of forests and forest ecosystems. Each criterion relates to a key element of sustainability, and may be described by one or more indicators.
Indicators are parameters which can be measured and correspond to a particular criterion. They measure and help monitor the status and changes of forests in quantitative, qualitative and descriptive terms that reflect forest values as seen by those who defined each criterion.
Criteria and indicators are applied at three different levels:
Forest management unit level
Why are criteria and indicators important?