Criteria and Indicators

Jujuy Model Forest, ArgentinaWorking toward the sustainable management of forested landscapes requires ongoing assessment of impacts and changes resulting from forest management practices and other activities. Establishing a baseline of criteria and indicators (C&I) for sustainable management practices is important because it allows for the measurement of progress at different scales — from international to local.

Criteria represent identified forest values that are important to enhance or sustain. Indicators can be scientific (such as an inventory of plant and animal species) or measured by qualitative, social advances (such as increased participation of women and indigenous peoples in decision-making processes).

A number of Model Forests are actively involved in developing C&I, including:

  • Canadian Model Forest Network: Each of Canada’s Model Forests developed a suite of local-level indicators (LLI) to help assess their progress toward sustainable forest management in their particular landscape. Results of this work were published in the Users’ Guide to Local Level Indicators of Sustainable Forest Management (2000) and shared with other members of the IMFN.
  • Dja et Mpomo Model Forest, Cameroon: Elaborating the principles, criteria and indicators for good forest and environmental governance in the Dja et Mpomo Model Forest.
  • National Model Forest Network for Argentina: The Argentinean Model Forest Network organized a workshop on C&I for its model forests bringing experts from the Canadian Forest Service and the Model Forest of Newfoundland and Labrador to Argentina for the session.
  • Ulot Watershed Model Forest, Philippines: Ulot Watershed expanded on a community-level initiative of the Philippines-Natural Resources Management Program called Environmental Performance Monitoring. The Ulot Watershed C&I program scaled up the initiative to a landscape level. Philippine C&I for sustainable forest management are now being used in various forest management units.
  • Cree Research Development Institute, Canada: Traditional indigenous knowledge was combined with scientific research to establish the impact of large-scale harvesting of black spruce forests on moose habitat in Northern Quebec. Results show that traditional indigenous knowledge often confirms scientific findings.