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Working Group Meeting Report

3rd Meeting of the Working Group on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests
Montréal Process

Olympia, Washington, U.S.A.
September 7-10, 1994


  1. The International Dialogue on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests met in Olympia, Washington, USA from 7 to 10 September 1994. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Ross S. Whaley, President, State University of New York at Syracuse, with Dr. David Harcharik of the United States Forest Service and Mr. Franklin Moore of the United States Environmental Protection Agency as Vice-Chairs. The attached annexes include the discussion draft (9.9.94 rev. 1), working documents, agenda, and list of participants.
  2. The purpose of the meeting was to advance the work of the Working Group on Criteria and Indicators on Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal forests which last met in New Delhi, India 28 July 1994. the reflections of the Olympia participants on the discussion draft is reflected in the discussion draft annexed to this summary. The Group split into two Sub-groups; one reviewed and discussed the indicators of Criteria 1 through 5 and the other which reviewed and discussed Criteria 6 and 7.

Areas of Agreement

  1. Countries participating in the Working Group agreed to the text of Section 1, Introduction with modifications taking into account the background and authority of the Working Group activity; harmonizing the approaches of countries to measure and report on indicators; the need to periodically review indicators to reflect changes in scientific knowledge and changing public demands. Minor changes in the introduction reflect the Working Group's agreement on a general formulation that reflects that criteria and indicators apply to all decision-makers and not just those within governments and as well as the role and expectations of all sectors of society, including indigenous people.
  2. Working Group countries agreed on a number of acceptable definitions to guide future work, on obtaining the text of seven criteria and on several indicators by which sustainable forest management will be evaluated.

Areas needing further work

  1. There are however some areas where considerable work is left to be done. They include the need to address the degree to which there should be congruence with the Helsinki Process on Criteria 4 and 7; to decide on whether the criterion on carbon cycles should be broadened; to appropriately address the issue of plantations as distinct from natural forests; to address the issue of measurability of indicators and how progress is effectively communicated to society; and to address those indicators which do not adhere to the definition for the term "indicator" found in Section 2 of the discussion draft.
  2. Discussion was held on eventual convergence among the various international products and processes addressing on criteria and indicators. It was recognized that the different processes were at different stages of maturity or completion, and being conducted under different authorities. For now, complementarily among the processes will come from joint attendance at meetings and sharing of results. A more formal convergence is not likely to emerge prior to the April 1995 session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development.

Future meetings and activities

  1. Canada offered to host the next meeting of the Working Group to be held in Ottawa on 15 October 1994. Japan also re-affirmed their offer to host a meeting of the Working Group on 17 and 18 November 1994 in Tokyo, and Chile offered to host a meeting of the Working Group in Santiago in late January or early February 1995. Finland mentioned that they are planning a Pan European Roundtable in November. A Second Expert Level Meeting of the Helsinki Process is planned in Turkey in January.
  2. China announced that they were beginning a national process to develop national level criteria and indicators.