Working Group Meeting Report
23rd Montreal Process Working Group Meeting
July 8-12, 2013
The Montréal Process Working Group on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests held its 23rd meeting in Adelaide, Australia, July 8-12, 2013. The Montréal Process includes Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Russian Federation, United States of America, and Uruguay, which together represent 50% of the world's forests and 90% of the world’s temperate and boreal forests.
- Annex A (PDF, 121 KB) - List of participants
- Annex B (PDF, 79 KB) - Progress and Achievements related to Criteria and Indicators (C&I) in Member Countries From October 2011 to July 2013
- Annex C (PDF, 399 KB) - Agenda
- Annex D (PDF, 157 KB) - Structural changes to the Montreal Process website recommended by the Technical Advisory Committee
- Annex E - Aide Memoire of the 13th and 14th Technical Advisory Committee Meetings:
- Annex F (PDF, 182 KB) - Changes to technical notes for Criterion 4: Soil and Water and Indicator 6.1.c
- Annex G (PDF, 114 KB) - 2013-2015 Implementation Schedule of the Montreal Process Strategic Action Plan
The meeting included 27 participants from 8 Montréal Process member countries. The meeting was greatly enhanced by the participation and contribution of the employees of the Australian and South Australian governments. A list of participants is attached as Annex A.
Stuart West, Executive Director Agribusiness and Regions, Government of South Australia, followed by Aunty Josie Agius, who provided a welcome to country ceremony on behalf of Kaurna land, first welcomed the meeting participants. Scott Ashby, Chief Executive, Primary Industry, and Regions, South Australia introduced the Honorable Gail Gago MLC, South Australian Minister for Forests. The Minister described the history and current state of forest management in South Australia as well as new strategic initiatives in premium food/wine and advanced manufacturing with an emphasis on cellulose value chain enhancement.
Montréal Process Member Country Overviews and Australian Experiences
Countries shared their progress and achievements since the 22nd Working Group meeting related to application of criteria and indicators and implementing Sustainable Forest Management. Highlights included progress in preparing country reports, new strategic frameworks for data collection, analysis, and streamlined reporting, and utilization of Montréal Process criteria and indicators at regional and sub-regional levels (Annex B).
The opportunity to share and learn from other countries’ experiences was recognized as a major benefit of meeting together and the Working Group members agreed to continue sharing experiences as a standing agenda item for future Working Group meetings.
Australia’s State of the Forests Report
The Working Group welcomed the presentation from Claire Howell, Manager, National Forest Inventory, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, on the evolution and current status of Australia’s State of the Forests report. She noted its successful application has been a result of a strong alignment with Australian State governments as well as the capacity to harmonize common data collection and reporting at the State and international levels. She reported on efforts to improve key data sets (e.g. forest cover, forest tenure, conservation areas) for the 2013 Australia’s State of the Forests Report, which is scheduled to be released in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Western Australian Experience in Montréal Process Criteria and Indicators
The Working Group welcomed the presentation from Gavin Butcher, Director, Technical Services, Western Australian Forest Products Commission, on how Montréal Process Criteria and Indicators are used in the sustainable forest management activities in Western Australia. He indicated that a subset of Montréal Process Criteria and Indicators were incorporated in their planning structure in 2004 and are now embedded into the full range of forest management and operational planning and performance monitoring.
Australian Illegal Logging Policy
The Working Group welcomed the presentation from Paul McNamara, Assistant Secretary of Forestry within the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, on Australia’s Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 and its comparisons with similar legislation adopted by the United States and the European Union. The legislation aims to reduce the harmful environmental, social and economic impacts of illegal logging by making it a criminal offence to import or domestically process illegally logged timber and timber products. Regulations that set out due diligence requirements for Australian importers of regulated timber products and domestic processors of raw logs have been finalized and will come into effect in November 2014.
Joanne Frappier, Director General, Planning, Operations and Information Branch of Natural Resources Canada, and Chair of the 22nd Montréal Process Working Group welcomed the members and thanked Australia for hosting the current session. Andrew Wilson, Director of National Forest Policy, Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, was nominated to serve as Chair of the Montréal Process Working Group. The Montréal Process Working Group members present unanimously endorsed his nomination. He expressed gratitude for Canada’s leadership and efforts since the last Working Group meeting.
Andrew Wilson welcomed the members to Australia. He requested the Montréal Process Working Group to express their collective reflections from the country overviews and Australian presentations from the previous day. He encouraged the Working Group to specifically identify their goals for the 23rd Working Group meeting. The Chair introduced the draft agenda, which was reviewed and adopted by the Working Group. The agenda is attached as Annex C.
Representatives from member countries volunteered to serve on the Aide Mémoire Drafting Committee (United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan).
Collaboration and Linkages
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization 2015 Global Forest Resource Assessment
The Working Group welcomed the presentation from Claire Howell, Australia’s National Correspondent to the UNFAO Global Forest Resource Assessment 2015, on the current status of progress in the 2015 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Global Forest Resource Assessment. The goal of the Global Forest Resource Assessment is to provide world-class information in support of sustainable forest management. To achieve this, they are committed to: 1) Understand and address user needs; 2) Reduce individual country reporting burdens; and 3) Improve reliability and quality of data.
The Working Group also welcomed the presentation from Rich Guldin, United States on the contributions of the Inventory and Monitoring group of the North American Forestry Commission to the 2015 Global Forest Resource Assessment. Products included the establishment of a common database for key forest attributes, an updated ecozone map, and common strategies to report on forest protective functions.
Action Item 1 - The United States, Canada, and Mexico will provide its updated North American regional analytical work to the Food and Agriculture Organization in support of the 2015 Global Forest Resource Assessment. Such information will be shared among member countries through the Liaison Office.
Collaborative Forest Resource Questionnaire
The Working Group welcomed the presentation from Ichiro Nagame, Japan on the role of the Montréal Process in the Collaborative Forest Resource Questionnaire. The Working Group members discussed the benefits of member countries participating in the Collaborative Forest Resource Questionnaire process, which included the many linkages to the Montréal Process Criteria and Indicators. They also identified opportunities to synchronize timing of 2020 Global Forest Resource Assessment Report with future Montréal Process country reports.
Action Item 2 - The Working Group tasked the Technical Advisory Committee to liaise with the Food and Agriculture Organization for compilation of summary of selected forest data from the Collaborative Forest Resource Questionnaire and provide the summary to Liaison Office to be displayed on the Montréal Process website.
Action Item 3 - The Working Group tasked the Technical Advisory Committee, based on the updated summary, to advise the Working Group at the 24th Working Group meeting on the potential of using updated data to revise Montréal Process Overview Report and/or a two-page leaflet.
Action Item 4 - The Working Group requested the Technical Advisory Committee Convener to liaise with the Food and Agriculture Organization regarding opportunities to prepare peer reviewed technical papers utilizing the Global Forest Resource Assessment data. If appropriate, Member Countries should identify country scientists to participate.
United Nations Forum on Forests 10
The Working Group welcomed the presentation from Ichiro Nagame, Japan on the outcomes of the 10th meeting of the United Nations Forum on Forests, in Istanbul in April 2013. The Montréal Process report, as a regional and sub-regional input, was introduced by the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat and also supplemented by Mr. Alan Reid, New Zealand.
Action Item 5 - The Working Group agreed to set up a sub-group (Japan, USA, New Zealand, China), led by Australia, to prioritize the issues relevant to the Montréal Process in regard to submission to the process of the 11th meeting of the United Nations Forum on Forests to be held in 2015.
Committee on Forestry – Food and Agriculture Organization
The Working Group welcomed the presentation from Maria Palenova, Russia, on the 1st meeting of the Steering Committee for the preparation of the 22nd Committee on Forestry meeting in June 2014. At that meeting, a document was tabled, Guidelines and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management, whose purpose was to build a case for having global criteria and indicators for SFM.
Action Item 6 - The Working Group requested Russia to access subject paper tabled at the Steering Committee meeting and provide to the Liaison Office for distribution to Working Group members. Working Group members will discuss any actions required intersessionally.
Forest Indicator Partnership
The Working Group welcomed the presentation from Joanne Frappier on the actions and progress from the 22nd Montréal Process meeting. Four action plans were developed that guided the collaborative efforts. Priority actions 1 and 2 were completed and work initiated on actions 3 and 4. The proposed development of a forest indicators partnership received the support and encouragement of Food and Agriculture Organization Committee of Forestry at its 21st Session and was promoted and discussed during negotiations at the Convention of Biological Diversity Conference of the Parties 11.
The Montréal Process prepared a submission to UNFF-10 highlighting some of the recent achievements of the Montréal Process, bringing attention to recent collaborative efforts with other Criteria & Indicator processes and Food and Agriculture Organization, and targeting broader forestry related issues. The establishment of a forest indicators partnership was discussed at 10th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests but did not appear in the final resolutions.
Action Item 7 - The Working Group agreed to set up a sub-group (Japan, New Zealand, United States, Russia, Australia), led by Canada, to examine the concept of a forest indicator partnership with potential partners and report on potential options.
2014 International Union of Forest Research Organizations Congress
The Working Group welcomed the presentation from Rich Guldin, United States on the upcoming 2014 International Union of Forest Research Organizations Meeting, October 5-11, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. Canada expressed willingness to display Montreal Process information at their country booth. A subgroup led by Japan and Korea met to determine the feasibility of papers to be submitted by Montréal Process members. Potential papers should present new research, describe how country reports influence policy, or mention the application of Criteria and Indicators.
Action Item 8 – Japan and Korea have agreed to be moderator and co-moderator of a potential session for the 2014 International Union of Forest Research Organizations Congress. They will contact Working Group members in the next three months on their interest to submit abstracts on the International Union of Forest Research Organizations website http://www.iufro2014.com.
Action Item 9 – The Working Group requested the Technical Advisory Committee Convener to inform his network of the opportunity to submit abstracts to the 2014 International Union of Forest Research Organizations meeting.
2015 World Forestry Congress, September, South Africa
The Working Group recognized the importance of being present at major international forestry meetings. At the 2009 World Forestry Congress in Buenos Aires, the Working Group organized a technical session, a display booth and special booklet, and participated behind the scenes with Food and Agriculture Organization experts and others in preparing the Congress declaration. The Working Group envisions being present and participating at the 2015 World Forestry Congress in Durban, South Africa, in similar ways to our involvement to the 2009 World Forestry Congress.
Action Item 10 - The Working Group agreed that once the theme of the 2015 World Forestry Congress is announced, Australia will work with Member Countries on appropriate Montréal Process participation.
Action Item 11 – Member countries are encouraged to report to the Liaison Office in a timely manner about other relevant upcoming international events as appropriate.
Montréal Process Communications
Assessing progress in improved communications
The Working Group welcomed the presentation from Alan Reid, New Zealand, on assessing progress in improved communications, with a focus on the new website. The Working Group acknowledged the work of the United States, specifically Peter Gaulke and his efforts in the creation of the new website.
Action Item 12 – The Working Group adopted the structural changes to the website as recommended by the Technical Advisory Committee (Annex D) which will enable improved data sharing, overall presentation, and member dialogue.
Action Item 13 - The Working Group encourages member countries to submit to Liaison Office by June 30 2014, materials to put on the website. These materials may include; 1) pertinent links, videos, and documents that exist on member countries’ websites; 2) specific material on the Montréal Process applications and experiences within each member country; and 3) links for using the website for a repository for technical papers relevant to Montréal Process Criteria and Indicators.
Implementation of Future Montreal Process Communication Activities
The Working Group welcomed the presentation from Alan Reid, New Zealand on the implementation of future Montréal Process communication activities, and acknowledged the efforts of Peter Gaulke, United States and the Montréal Process Communications subgroup. The Working Group acknowledged the potential of future joint communications with other indicator processes but its current focus is on Montréal Process communications. It is recognized that there are a range of communication products available for countries to share the benefits of the Montreal Process.
The Working Group appreciated the examples of forest-water video developed for New Zealand and the proposed video being developed by the United States.
Action Item 14 - Member countries are encouraged to explore the opportunities for wider use of the video being produced by the United States.
Action Item 15 - The Working Group encouraged member countries to explore different approaches to communicate with their public about forest resource issues.
Governance of the Montréal Process website
The Working Group welcomed the presentation from Alan Reid, New Zealand concerning the governance of the Montréal Process website.
Action Item 16 – The Working Group agreed that member countries would be responsible for their own materials on the website and requested the Liaison Office to notify member countries of timely updates of existing materials. They also agreed to allow other relevant materials not directly associated with Montreal Process countries on the website, which will be screened by the United States and the Montreal Process Communication subgroup.
Action Item 17 - Countries are encouraged to provide translations of documents, key to them, to broaden the usefulness of the website to non-English speaking visitors.
Technical Advisory Committee Activity
The Working Group welcomed the presentation from Tim Payn, Technical Advisory Committee Convener, New Zealand, on the actions and progress of the Montréal Process Technical Advisory Committee since the 22nd Montréal Process Working Group meeting.
The Technical Advisory Committee convened two meetings; the first (13th) hosted by Russia in Moscow/Suzdal, Russian Federation in July 2012, and the second (14th) hosted by Japan in Tokyo in December 2012. These meetings focused on the main task related to soil and water, but also took the opportunity to progress technical issues related to the communications initiatives under way in the Montréal Process and to discuss other technical aspects of criteria and indicators. Both meetings were significantly enhanced by the involvement of experts from other forestry processes and from host country forestry agencies. The Working Group endorsed the text of the aide memoires from both meetings (Annex E: 13th TAC Meeting and 14th TAC Meeting), and acknowledged the contributions of Russia and Japan in hosting the Technical Advisory Committee meetings.
Action Item 18 - The Technical Advisory Committee Convener will inform Working Group members of the status of the steep lands workshop, which may be scheduled in conjunction with Asia Pacific Forestry Commission meeting in New Zealand in November 2013.
The Technical Advisory Committee Convener also presented recommended changes to technical notes for Criterion 4: Soil and Water and Indicator 6.1.c, which were approved by the Working Group (Annex F). It was noted that Member Countries would not be expected to report on these changes if their current data gathering and reporting cycle has already started. It was also noted these recommendations were presented at the meeting, rather than ninety days before Montréal Process Working Group meeting, as a result of the complexity of the task. The Working Group notes the Technical Advisory Committee will continue work on indicator 6.1.c and will report back at 24th Working Group meeting. The Technical Advisory Committee will work intersessionally on its range of tasks.
Action Item 19 - The Working Group requested the Technical Advisory Committee Convener to make all appropriate changes in the official Montréal Process documents on the website with appropriate notations.
The Working Group recognized the excellent job of the Technical Advisory Committee Convener, Dr Tim Payn and expressed thanks to New Zealand for their support of the Technical Advisory Committee Convener.
The Working Group noted the current term of the Technical Advisory Committee Convener will be expiring in 2014 and following the terms of reference for the Technical Advisory Committee Convener (Annex C to the 2009 Aide Memoir), members are encouraged to nominate a candidate to serve. Nominations are due to be provided to the Liaison Office prior to the 24th Working Group meeting.
Future Direction of the Montreal Process
Strength and Benefits of the Montréal Process
The Working Group welcomed Andrew Wilson, Australia and Richard Guldin, United States reflections’ on the strength and benefits of the Montréal Process. Benefits identified included: 1) international credibility of Montréal Process criteria and indicators that are based on sound science; 2) the capacity to integrate country activities at subnational levels; 3) informing policy-making in individual countries; and 4) increased productivity in relationships and efficiencies in reporting with other international processes. Criteria for future success of the Montréal Process included capacity to: 1) Evolve to meet and address emerging issues and 2) Maintain relevance with domestic and international audiences.
Systems Approaches to Forest Function and Forest Ecosystem Provision
The Working Group welcomed the presentation from Tim Barnard, New Zealand in how Montréal Process Criteria and indicators might contribute or link to concepts such as Systems Frameworks and Ecosystem Assessment approaches. The discussion was predominantly related to the implementation of Criteria and Indicators, and the opportunity to use them in a ‘forward looking’ predictive way as opposed to ‘backwards looking’ reporting systems focused on describing the current state of forests.
Action Item 20 - Member Countries are encouraged to inform the Technical Advisory Committee Convener about their experiences in multi-criteria systems analysis in order to understand the level of activity across countries.
Revision of the Montreal Process Declaration
The Working Group Members considered the need to update the Montreal Process Declaration. It was noted that issues affecting sustainable forest management have continued to evolve since the declaration was agreed in Quebec in 2003.
Action Item 21 - The Working Group will form a subgroup (Japan, United States, Canada, China, New Zealand), led by Russia to consider the need for and the content of any new Declaration for consideration by the Working Group at its 24th session.
2015-2025 Montréal Process Strategic Action Plan
The Working Group welcomed the presentation from Nick Frederick, Australia concerning the current 2009-2015 Strategic Action Plan and the actions needed to draft a Strategic Action Plan for 2015-2025. The Working Group began consolidating aspirations for what the Montréal Process could achieve by 2025, which will provide the framework for tangible and practical actions for the 2015-2025 Strategic Action Plan.
Action Item 22 - The Working Group formed a subgroup (Canada, New Zealand, Korea, China, and the Technical Advisory Committee Convener), led by the United States, to present a draft 2015-2025 Montréal Process Strategic Action Plan at the 24th Montréal Process meeting for discussion.
Montréal Process Value Proposition
The Working Group considered the need and opportunity to develop a Montréal Process value proposition in order to clearly demonstrate and communicate the benefits of the Montréal Process to both domestic and international clientele and stakeholders.
Action Item 23 - The Working Group formed a subgroup (United States, New Zealand, China, Korea), led by Canada, to finalize a Montréal Process Value Proposition to be approved at the 24th Montréal Process meeting.
Approval of Revised 2013-15 Montréal Process Implementation Schedule
The Working Group welcomed the presentation from the Liaison Officer, Toshihiro Shima, Japan, concerning the revised 2013-15 Montréal Process Implementation Schedule and approved the updates and additions required (Annex G). The Working Group thanked Japan and acknowledged the fine work of the Liaison Officer, Toshihiro Shima.
24th Montréal Process Working Group Meeting
The Working Group welcomed the offer by Russia, New Zealand, and China to investigate options to host the 24th Montréal Process Working Group meeting and gratefully accepts Russia’s invitation to host the 24th Montréal Process Working Group in late August, 2014. At this meeting, the Working Group will:
- Explore future plans for the joint indicator partnership;
- Review and finalize Montréal Process participation at international events (2014 Food and Agriculture Organization - Committee on Forestry, 2014 International Union of Forest Research Organizations Congress, 2015 United Nations Forum on Forests, 2015 World Forestry Congress);
- Evaluate Montréal Process participation in 2015 Global Forest Resource Assessment;
- Consider the recommendations from the Technical Advisory Committee Convener concerning any new versions of the Montréal Process Overview Report.
- Consider the recommendations from the Declaration subgroup;
- Discuss draft of 2015-2025 Montréal Process Strategic Action Plan;
- Approve Montréal Process value proposition document;
- Assess progress in improved communication;
- Review the 2013 – 2015 Implementation Schedule, and amend as needed;
- Share country experiences in the application and utilization of criteria and indicators to promote and implement sustainable forest management; and
- Appoint the Technical Advisory Committee Convener for 2014 to 2017.
The Working Group proposes to place a call for additional agenda items through the Liaison Office 6 months prior to the meeting. The Working Group recognizes the value and encourages inter-sessional ad hoc meetings at other forest-related meetings before the 24th Montréal Process Working Group meeting as opportunities may arise.
Action Item 24 - The Working Group Chair will communicate with all Montréal Process members not in attendance at the 23rd meeting, making all materials presented and produced at the 23rd meeting available, and inviting them to participate in all subgroups formed at the 23rd meeting.
Expression of Thanks
The meeting expressed its deep appreciation to the Chair of the Working Group Meeting, Andrew Wilson, Stuart West, and their colleagues from the Australian and South Australia governments, and the people of South Australia for their hospitality in co-hosting the 23rd meeting of the Montréal Process Working Group. Special thanks for the excellent field trip go out to Rob Robinson from the South Australian Government Department of Primary Industries and Regions, Steve Wenham, Andrew Moylan and Martin Winters from ForestrySA and the esteemed Bob Boardman.