Canadian Forest Service Publications

25 years of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management: how intergovernmental C&I processes have made a difference. Linser, S., Wolfslehner, B., Bridge, S. R. J., Gritten, D., Johnson, S., Payn, T., ... & Robertson, G. (2018). Forests, 9(9), 578.

Year: 2018

Issued by: National Capital Region

Catalog ID: 40407

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.3390/f9090578

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Abstract

Growing concern about forest degradation and loss, combined with the political impetus supplied by the Earth Summit in 1992, led to the establishment of eleven intergovernmental, regional, and international forest-related processes focused on the use of criteria and indicators (C&I) for sustainable forest management (SFM). Up to 171 countries have participated in these processes to apply C&I frameworks as a tool for data collection, monitoring, assessment, and reporting on SFM and on achieving various forest-related UN Sustainable Development Goals. Based on an expert survey and literature analysis we identify six interlinked impact domains of C&I efforts: (1) enhanced discourse and understanding of SFM; (2) shaped and focused engagement of science in SFM; (3) improved monitoring and reporting on SFM to facilitate transparency and evidence-based decision-making; (4) strengthened forest management practices; (5) facilitated assessment of progress towards SFM goals; and (6) improved forest-related dialog and communication. We conclude that the 25-year history of C&I work in forestry has had significant positive impacts, though challenges do remain for the implementation of C&I and progress towards SFM. The work should be continued and carried over to other sectors to advance sustainability goals more broadly.

Plain Language Summary

Growing concern about forest degradation and loss, as well as momentum from the Earth Summit in 1992, led to the establishment of eleven forest-related “criteria and indicators” (C&I) processes of different scale and scope internationally for sustainable forest management (SFM). Up to 171 countries have participated in these processes resulting in enhanced data collection, monitoring, assessment and reporting on SFM and sustainable development goals. The 25-year history of C&I has made real progress in six important areas towards improved SFM and policy tools to generate evidence of the effectiveness of measures and practices. The work should be continued and the lessons from C&I frameworks can be carried over to other sectors to advance sustainability goals more broadly.