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25 Years of Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management: Why Some Intergovernmental C&I Processes Flourished While Others Faded
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Forests 2018, 9(9), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090578

25 Years of Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management: How Intergovernmental C&I Processes Have Made a Difference

1
Institute of Forest, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy, Department of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Vienna, 1180 Vienna, Austria
2
European Forest Institute, Forest Policy Research Network, 1180 Vienna, Austria
3
Natural Resources Canada—Canadian Forest Service, Ottawa, ON K1A 0E4, Canada
4
RECOFTC—The Center for People and Forests, Bangkok 10903, Thailand
5
International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), International Organizations Center, Yokohama 220-0012, Japan
6
Scion—New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
7
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Rotorua 3046, New Zealand
8
Independent Forest Sector Consultant, 1227 Carouge, Switzerland
9
Forest Europe Liaison Unit Bratislava, National Forest Centre, 960 92 Zvolen, Slovakia
10
U.S. Forest Service, Research and Development, Washington, DC 20250, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Sustainable Forestry)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: criteria; indicators; C&I; sustainable forest management; regional processes; international processes; intergovernmental processes; impacts criteria; indicators; C&I; sustainable forest management; regional processes; international processes; intergovernmental processes; impacts
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Linser, S.; Wolfslehner, B.; Bridge, S.R.J.; Gritten, D.; Johnson, S.; Payn, T.; Prins, K.; Raši, R.; Robertson, G. 25 Years of Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management: How Intergovernmental C&I Processes Have Made a Difference. Forests 2018, 9, 578.

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