Global Consultation Started on Principles, Attributes and Indicators Framework for Model Forests

The International Model Forest Network (IMFN) has grown significantly in recent years, resulting in the need for a more rigorous, transparent, clear and globally agreed-upon framework to define Model Forests. Building on recommendations of the IMFN Global Forum (Turrialba/CATIE, November 2005) and work initiated in the Regional Model Forest Network for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC-Net), a global consultation has been launched for the development of a Network-wide principles, attributes (or criteria) and indicators (PAI) framework. When finalized and approved, the framework will guide the management, operation and future development of the Network and the individual Model Forests. It will also be an assessment tool for both existing and new Model Forests.

The PAI will form the basis upon which the Network will define standards for membership and assess compliance with membership criteria. A set of principles has been articulated and in use since 2000. Specific attributes and criteria have not yet been formalized at the network level; however, they exist in varying formats for most of the individual sites. 

The objective of the consultation is to begin a formal process leading to the development of a Network-wide approved definition of PAI for Model Forests. The process is intended to effectively engage Model Forest practitioners and partners to ensure that the PAI that emerge are owned by the IMFN and are an effective tool and guide at all levels in the network—local, national, regional and international. To that end, 17 representatives from all regions of the IMFN were invited to participate in this consultation and they were themselves encouraged to solicit input from their circle of Model Forest contacts. A synthesis report has now been completed which will be finalized for distribution to the network as a next step in the consultation. It is planned that a globally agreed-upon PAI framework can be finalized in September 2007, at a proposed meeting in Toronto.