Criteria and Indicators - for sustainable forest management
Criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management
Criteria and indicators are tools used to define, guide, monitor and assess progress towards sustainable forest management in a given context.
Criteria and indicators (C&I) have emerged as a powerful tool in promoting sustainable forest management (SFM). Since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) of Rio 1992, several different international processes and initiatives have developed criteria and indicators as a framework for SFM. C&I provide a framework that characterizes the essential components of SFM, and recognise forests as ecosystems that provide a wide range of environmental, economic and social benefits to society.
The overall aim of criteria and indicators is to promote more sustainable forest management practices, taking into consideration the social, economic, environmental, cultural and spiritual needs of different stakeholders. Following UNCED, regional criteria and indicators processes have developed a more widely shared understanding of the main thematic elements of sustainable forest management. Approximately 150 countries have been participating in one or more of the nine regional criteria and indicator processes. Several of these processes (e.g. ITTO, Montreal process, FOREST EUROPE) established regional and/or coordinated national reporting mechanisms on status and progress towards SFM, based on the C&I.
This website aims at sharing information and experiences on criteria and indicators and their use in key global and regional C&I processes as well as governmental and non-governmental bodies and organizations at national, sub-national and practice levels.
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.
@FAO Marc Vandenhaute