Working Group Meeting Report
11th Meeting of the Working Group on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
November 29 - December 3, 1999
- The Working Group on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests (Montréal Process), hereafter the Working Group, held its eleventh meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, USA on 29 November-3 December 1999. The Montréal Process includes Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Russian Federation, the United States of America and Uruguay, which together represent 90% of the world's Temperate and Boreal forests.
- The meeting was opened by Phil Janik, Chief Operating Officer of the US Forest Service, who was endorsed by the Montréal Process countries and served as chairman of the meeting.
- Representatives of 11 countries of the Montréal Process attended the meeting (Mexico was absent), as did representatives of the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the Central American Council of Forestry and Protected Areas (Lepaterique Process), the African Timber Organization (ATO), representatives from the US Department of Agriculture, US Forest Service and the South Carolina Forestry Commission as well as other intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, including IUCN, IUFRO, the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF), CIFOR, UK Forestry Commission, Japan Wildlife Research Center, Global Forest Policy Project, Pulp and Paperworkers Resource Council, American Forest and Paper Association, Society of American Foresters, National Council of the Paper Industry for Air and Stream Improvement and the Meridian Institute. Representatives of Willamette Industries also attended. A list of participants is included at Attachment A.
- The meeting welcomed presentations by the US Forest Service on recent developments in US domestic forest policy and on regional initiatives related to sustainability in the Southeastern US, and by the US Department of State on international forest issues as they relate to the US commitment to the Montréal Process Criteria and Indicators (C&I). The head of the South Carolina Forestry Commission provided an historical overview of forestry in South Carolina, including a brief history of the city of Charleston.
- The meeting received with appreciation and interest a panel discussion on United States' domestic implementation of the Montréal Process C&I that included federal and state foresters, as well as representatives of professional foresters, industry and environmental NGOs. The panel discussed the progress made as well as the challenges still to be met in C&I implementation in the US and the role of the multi-stakeholder ad hoc ARoundtable on Sustainable Forests in this process.
- The meeting also welcomed a presentation by the representative of IUCN on the development of the IUCN Conservation Atlas of Temperate and Boreal Forests as well as an informal discussion convened by Australia on certification and labeling.
- The meeting appreciated a presentation by Japan on its upcoming domestic and international initiatives, including training opportunities, regarding C&I implementation.
- The meeting also welcomed presentations by representatives of ATO, FAO, UNEP, IFF, Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, CIFOR, ITTO and the Central American Council of Forestry and Protected Areas (Lepaterique Process) on their experiences with C&I processes and initiatives, including the development of sub-national indicators, compatibility among the initiatives and links to related work such as the FAO Forest Resources Assessment.
- The Working Group adopted a final text for (1) the Montréal Process Brochure, entitled A Forests for the Future, and (2) the second edition of the Santiago Declaration, entitled ACriteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests B The Montréal Process. The Working Group requested the Liaison Office to arrange for printing and wide dissemination of these documents by January 2000; to post the documents on the Montréal Process website; and to have copies available at the Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests, which meets in New York, January 31-February 11, 2000. The Working Group requested the Liaison Office to translate these documents into French and Spanish as soon as possible, and post them on the website.
- The Working Group accepted the revised non-binding Technical Notes, entitled "Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests - The Montréal Process: Technical Notes as they relate to Criteria 1-6. The Working Group also requested member countries to work with their respective TAC members to produce a version of the Technical Notes as they relate to Criterion 7 and the glossary, for acceptance by the Working Group, as indicated in the Terms of Reference for the TAC included at Attachment B.
- The meeting also discussed the revised TAC definitions and noted that different countries were in various stages of translation of these definitions. The Working Group requested the TAC to prepare the revised definitions and provide them to the Liaison Office for circulation and final approval by Working Group members. The Working Group also requested the Liaison Office to post the final version of the definitions on the website and also suggested that Working Group member countries on their respective websites.
- The Working Group agreed that countries wishing to revise their contributions to the policy update entitled "The Montréal Process: Progress and Innovation in Implementing Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests should forward their comments to the Liaison Office by December 15, 1999, noting that these reports should focus on innovations related directly to C&I. The Liaison Office will then finalize the document and send it for publishing so that it could be disseminated at the 8th session of the UNCSD in April 2000 and the IUFRO World Congress in August 2000. The Working Group instructed the Liaison Office to explore opportunities to present the report, perhaps at a side event at both venues.
- The Working Group accepted the suggested approach for preparation of the First Montréal Process Forest Report, to be produced in 2003, as included at Attachment C. The Working Group noted that this will build on both the First Approximation Report and the Year 2000 report, "The Montréal Process: Progress and Innovation in Implementing Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests. It will be the first comprehensive joint report by Montréal Process countries on forest conditions and management. The Working Group agreed to discuss further the format for this report at the 12th meeting, including the process needed to synthesize the individual country reports.
- The Working Group also agreed that the Liaison Office would update the Montréal Process website as needed to include information on all Working Group and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings to date as well as current contact information on Montréal Process members and links to other relevant websites.
- The meeting welcomed the papers by the TAC on (1) AOptions on the Possible Application of the Montréal Process Criteria and Indicators to Sub National Levels and (2) AScale Issues and Periodicity Implications. Following a detailed discussion in which it became apparent that the two papers were closely interrelated, the Working Group requested the Reports= conclusions be summarized and posted on the website. In view of these findings, the Working Group requested the TAC to prepare and circulate two months prior to the 12th Meeting of the Working Group a concise paper that identifies mechanisms with which member countries can develop, identify and implement sub-national indicators that can be linked to the national-level C&I. The Terms of Reference for this paper are included at Attachment B. The Working Group accepted the two TAC papers and requested the Liaison Office to post them on the website.
- The Working Group also invited countries to submit to the Liaison Office information on their respective experiences in development of sub-national indicators, as appropriate, to be shared among member countries and posted on the website.
- In considering the international efforts in developing national level criteria and indicators, the Working Group stressed the importance of increasing compatibility and synergy among the several C&I processes, including the further development of common definitions for key terms and concepts as agreed under the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) proposals for action. The Working Group agreed that a second international seminar along the lines of the highly successful Intergovernmental Seminar on Criteria and Indicators (ISCI) hosted by Finland in 1996 would be very useful in order to take stock of progress made and further work needed to enhance compatibility.
- The Working Group noted that FAO, just prior to this 11th meeting, had sent a communication via electronic mail to the various regional and international processes soliciting comments on the possibility of a joint meeting. The Working Group noted the usefulness, timeliness and importance of such a meeting and encouraged FAO to pursue this initiative. The Working Group agreed to forward through the Liaison Office a proposal to FAO for a joint meeting, including possible objectives, as indicated at Attachment D.
- The meeting welcomed the TAC report on AOpportunities for Further Technical Cooperation and Information Sharing among Montréal Process Countries. The meeting stressed the importance of building country capacity to inventory, monitor and assess forests using the C&I and recognized in this regard the vital role of international financial institutions and the private sector, as well as individual governments. Recalling that Montréal Process countries are at different stages of economic development, the meeting recognized the need for assistance by some members and identified as a potential immediate need for assistance the preparation of national input into the joint First Montréal Process Forest Report--2003. To begin addressing such needs, the Working Group encouraged the members to explore a range of options to enhance national capacity building. These suggestions included bilateral and regional efforts, specific requests for support to FAO, UNEP and ITTO, where applicable, and requests to the World Bank and regional development bank that would focus the banks= attention on the importance of implementing C&I to improve forest management. The Working Group also requested the TAC, in cooperation with the Liaison Office, to collect member country information on capacity building needs, as included in the Terms of Reference for the TAC at Attachment B. The Working Group accepted the TAC report and requested the Liaison Office to post it on the website.
- The Working Group urged countries interested in hosting the 12th meeting to advise the Liaison Office by April 30, 2000. In a discussion on the themes for the next meeting, the Working Group agreed on the theme of technical needs for capacity building in C&I implementation.
- The Montréal Process countries reaffirmed the procedure for countries to join the Montréal Process is a diplomatic one. An interested country should, by diplomatic channels, inform the Government of Chile that its government endorses the Santiago Declaration. Chile will inform Canada as the Liaison Office, which will inform other Montréal Process countries. The Montréal Process countries reiterated that the Montréal Process Working Group is an informal non-binding group of countries with a common interest in developing and implementing criteria and indicators as a tool in support of sustainable forest management.
- The Montréal Process countries recognized with appreciation the excellent support provided by Canada to the Working Group and welcomed the continued willingness of Canada to serve as the Liaison Office for the Montréal Process.
- The meeting expressed its deep appreciation to the Government and people of the United States, especially the people of South Carolina and Charleston, for their hospitality in hosting the Eleventh Meeting of the Montréal Process Working Group. A special thank you was also extended to the Chair for his excellent leadership throughout the meeting.
11th Meeting of the Working Group on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
November 29 - December 3, 1999
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
Please see Who is Involved: Montréal Process Contacts
Terms of Reference for Future Work by the Technical Advisory Committee Identified by the 11th Session of the Montreal Process Working Group
The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is requested:
- to transmit accepted copies, as amended, of the three TAC technical papers presented at the 11th Meeting of the Montreal Process Working Group to the Liaison Office for publication on the Montreal Process website (See Note 1 below);
- to work with Working Group member countries to produce an agreed-to version of Criterion 7 Technical Notes and the glossary by March 1, 2000 and to transmit this version to the Liaison Office for acceptance by the Montreal Process Working Group by March 31, 2000, for subsequent publication of an accepted version on the Montreal Process website (see Note 1 below);
- to produce a draft version of TAC operational procedures for review by the Montreal Process Working Group at its 12th Meeting. The TAC shall consider the following factors at a minimum:
- Role of the TAC Convenor, nature and duration of appointment, and authority to task TAC country representatives for assistance in implementing Montreal Process Working Group recommendations
- Process for soliciting review, comment, and translation of documents prepared by TAC members
- Process for soliciting timely review, comment, and approval of documents by Montreal Process Working Group Members
- to complete a list of scientific contacts with forest management C&I expertise for publication on the Montreal Process website;
- to collect member country information (in cooperation with the Liaison Office) on capacity building needs for use at the 12th Meeting of the Montreal Process Working Group;
- to provide material to member countries on how to present information on criteria and indicators for the 2003 Report;
- to identify mechanisms with which member countries can develop, identify, and implement sub-national indicators that can be linked to national level indicators;
Note 1: Individual member countries will be responsible for coordinating translation of accepted TAC documents and the Technical Notes and Glossary and posting translated versions on national websites.
Suggested Approach for Preparation of the First Montréal Process Forest Report 2003
The 2003 report needs considering in the context of what has gone before; i.e., will follow the 1997 First Approximation Report (FAR) & Montréal Process 2000 Report.
FAR was a capacity report and identified where gaps existed. Year 2000 report was an update on progress. The Year 2003 report will describe forest conditions and management. Consistency between these and 2003 report is required.
Breadth of reporting
It was suggested that we shouldn't artificially limit which indicators are eligible by reporting against a subset. Unanimous agreement that all 67 indicators should be reported against.
Recognize that we can only report quantitatively where we have data. Where data does not exist, use either qualitative, or case study, approach. Can also report on why indicators are missing and the relevance of missing information.
- Country situations will vary considerably and obtaining agreement on what is an appropriate subset is likely to be problematic.
- Countries can learn from the experiences of others, including where problems with data are faced.
- Selective reporting would be less credible.
- Provides future reporting with a common baseline.
Discussion on purpose and title were inextricably linked. After considerable debate meeting agreed on a preliminary title:
"A First Montréal Process Forest Report"
Points noted in arriving at this title:
- Concern over various meanings of AState if included in title, in addition to problem of other Astate of forests reports.
- Simple is good.
- Further elaboration, if required, can be provided in a preface, recognizing that the audience is wide-ranging.
- The report is not necessarily an assessment of the forests.
Noting the Await and see content before deciding option B the above does not preclude subsequent modifications but the arguments still hold.
Policy-makers, forest officials, interest groups, and stakeholders such as industry, scientists, ENGOs, international organizations, and academia.
A first report on forest conditions and management.
Implied is that this has obvious implications for the policy-making, and legislative processes.
Country reports plus an overall summary report.
US offered the following for consideration:
An Executive Summary, Introduction, Background, Reporting on Each Criterion and Its Indicators, Conclusions [Future Challenges and Directions]. Reporting should include charts, graphs, tables, and photos as needed to enhance the text.
This format was seen as being appropriate for individual country reports (could also be used as format for the synopsis report).
Noted that it is unlikely countries will be able to standardize data collection in 3 years.
Given the difficulties, therefore, associated with collating disparate reporting it was proposed that the summary could be more interpretive. Focus on what we have learned, how we have progressed, what common challenges are faced. Avoid country to country comparisons. The process is intended to be a mutually supportive approach to SFM B the report should be the same.
The summary report could involve a series of leading questions that are then answered, highlighting the positive.
It was acknowledged that quality of data is at least as important as presence of data. In that respect there may be merit in using a quality matrix that is used consistently across countries. This would allow countries to add a qualifying measure when reporting against indicators.
Suggested length of individual country reports: 5 pages per Criterion x 7 = 35 pp plus annexes, and prefatory material.
Presentation/ordering of report will be very important, as noted. Keep format simple, use graphics wherever possible (picture = 1000 words), start with words, end with figures. This applies to individual country reports, as well as overall report.
Common graphic sets where possible.
Initial drafts will be due with the liaison office April 2002 . Draft joint report will be distributed for the October 2002 meeting. Final reports will be due April 2003. Final report target date of September 1, 2003.
This will be a future agenda item for Working Group meetings.
The Montreal Process Working Group members requested that the Technical Advisory Committee provide material to member countries on how to present information on criteria and indicators for the 2003 Report.
Montreal Process C&I Working Group Proposal to Hold an International Meeting of Forest-related Criteria & Indicator (C&I) Processes
Following discussions by the Montreal Process Working Group members, the MPWG proposed that the FAO, as lead agency for C&I in the Interagency Task Force on Forests (ITFF), convene an Organizing Committee to develop and plan for an international meeting of members and representatives of C&I Processes and related initiatives.
The Montreal Process Working Group considered that such an initiative would be useful and that possible objectives of an international meeting of C&I Processes and modalities of an organizing committee could include:
Objectives for an International Meeting on C&I
- Share progress on development of C&I in all processes with a view to examining compatibility and to foster a common understanding of C&I and their implementation.
- Examine the contribution of C&I to enable and facilitate sustainable forest management at all levels (e.g., policy, monitoring and assessment, etc.)
- Examine opportunities for collaboration and synergy with other international initiatives on indicators related to sustainable development, e.g., CBD, OECD.
- Share experience in the application of C&I at the national and sub-national levels.
Organizing Committee Objectives
- Develop and expand objectives/results for an international meeting.
- Determine Invitee list* B Meeting would be open-ended
(*Some Representatives/Guests may need to be specially invited)
- Determine the Format/Agenda for the international meeting
- Determine the Chairs, Distinguished Guests, etc.
Make-Up of Organizing Committee and International Meeting
- Representatives from C&I Processes
- Key Individuals with Lengthy experience in C&I
- Private Sector/NGO Representatives
- Intergovernmental and International Organizations and Mechanisms
Notes for Organizing Committee
- Recognize that C&I are both technical and policy issues in most countries.
- Organizing Committee or subset of Committee may need to meet twice to sort through the planning completely.
- May need to make recommendations regarding funding issues (sources of which will be outside of the Committee) including addressing support for developing countries.
- Location and timing of such an International Meeting,
December 1, 1999