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Working Group Meeting Report

9th Meeting of the Working Group on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests
Montréal Process

Seoul, Republic of Korea
July 8, 1997

  1. The Working Group on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests (Montreal Process) held its ninth meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 7-11 July 1997.
  2. The meeting was opened by the Administrator of the Korean Forestry Administration, Mr. Young-Ray Lee. Mr. Lee hosted the Working Group at a Montreal Process dinner where a traditional Korean dinner and cultural event were featured.
  3. The Montreal 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 about 90 percent of the world’s temperate and boreal forests, as well as areas of tropical forests.
  4. Representatives of all twelve countries of the Montreal Process attended the meeting as well as representatives of the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests, the Pan-European (Helsinki) Process, the Central American Process, Dry-Zone Africa Process, Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), a number of other countries, intergovernmental and non-government organisations, and Korean agencies and other interest groups. A list of participants is at Attachment A.
  5. The Working Group elected the following officers: Co-Chair, Mr. Yong-Han Kim (Republic of Korea); Co-Chair, Mr. Jacques Carette (Canada); Rapporteurs, Mr. Rod Holesgrove (Australia), Ms Ulla Karjalainen (Australia), Ms Kathryn Buchanan (Canada).
  6. The meeting welcomed presentations by representatives of the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests, the Pan-European (Helsinki) Process, the Central American Process, the Dry-Zone Africa Process, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, CIFOR, Kookmin University, and the Korean Forestry Research Institute.
  7. The meeting welcomed the report "Preliminary First Approximation Report on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests" by the Montreal Process Liaison Office summarising key aspects identified by Montreal Process countries in their first approximation reports.
  8. The Preliminary First Approximation Report was based on information received from eight countries. The report indicated that Montreal Process countries had put much effort into their first approximation reports and continue to be committed to the Montreal Process and the opportunities it provides for sharing information. Overall reporting on all indicators was quite high at 88% of all indicators reported. For 77% of indicators, it was evident that data are being collected and for 47% of indicators, detail was provided in the form of tables, figures, etc. For 50% of the indicators, gaps in the ability to report were identified.
  9. The Liaison Office report also summarized issues identified by Montreal Process countries in relation to several of the technical aspects of reporting on the framework of criteria and indicators. Additionally, the report included some suggestions for future reporting on the framework.
  10. Montreal Process countries summarized their experiences in reporting against the criteria and indicators. Canada experienced a convergence of national perspectives on sustainable forest management and has seen some provinces incorporate the criteria and indicators into forest legislation. All Montreal Process countries learned a great deal about their ability to respond nationally to the indicators under the criteria. Some of the countries pointed out that reporting on the indicators is currently beyond their capability.
  11. Extensive discussion followed the country experience reports. It was pointed out that the additional value of the country first approximation reports was the identification of gaps in adequately assessing the sustainability of forest management. Montreal Process countries recognized the following five steps in implementation of the Santiago Declaration:
    1. recognition of indicators and their relevance;
    2. ability to measure indicators;
    3. ability to establish goals or targets for each indicator;
    4. introduction of policy instruments;
    5. ability to monitor performance and adapt policy over time.

    Montreal Process countries agreed to move through the steps for each indicator as quickly as their capacity would allow.

  12. The Montreal Process countries agreed that the First Approximation Report would present an overview of the status of data and ability to report on the Montreal Process criteria and indicators. This report will summarize key issues raised by the countries concerning data availability and their capacity to report, but will not include the actual detailed information on indicators. Additional input from Montreal Process countries not included in the Preliminary First Approximation Report will need to be submitted to the Liaison Office as soon as possible and, at the latest, by 31 July 1997. A draft report will be circulated by the Liaison Office to member countries on or about 31 July. Montreal Process countries will have to submit their comments by 15 August 1997. The Liaison Office will finalize the report by 31 August and make the final report available to the Eleventh World Forestry Congress in English, French and Spanish.
  13. The Liaison Office indicated that the Montreal Process had been invited by the Eleventh World Forestry Congress, to be held in Antalya, Turkey, 13-22 October 1997, to participate in a panel discussion on criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management. The Montreal Process countries agreed that Republic of Korea, with the assistance of the Liaison Office, would make a presentation on behalf of the Working Group on progress of the Montreal Process. It was agreed that copies of the First Approximation Report and the Progress Report will be made available at the Congress. It was also agreed that the Liaison Office will examine the possibility of having a Montreal Process exhibit at the Congress. Member countries were invited to provide financial contributions to meet costs and to make available country representatives at the exhibit. Canada and the USA kindly offered to distribute Montreal Process documentation at their respective country exhibits if it is not possible to have a separate exhibit.
  14. The Working Group approved the report of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) which had been established at the eighth meeting of the Working Group. A copy of the report is at Attachment B. The Working Group agreed that the TAC had performed a useful role and that it should continue. The Working Group expressed its appreciation to Dr David Brand as convenor of the TAC and requested that he serve for another year. It was agreed that the position of TAC convenor would be reviewed at each Working Group meeting. The Working Group also agreed on revised Terms of Reference and tasks for the TAC. A copy is at Attachment C.
  15. Montreal Process countries agreed on the following next steps as the means to progress the development of criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management:
    1. to coordinate among Montreal Process countries attending relevant international meetings in order to identify a representative of the Montreal Process for those meetings and report back to the Liaison Office;
    2. to prepare a brochure that could be used to explain the origins and objectives of the Montreal Process to interested parties and provide a selection of data on the state of forests in member countries. The Liaison Office will write to member countries on the establishment of a sub-group to consider the preparation of a brochure;
    3. to establish a contact point within each country to act as a clearing house for the exchange of information and country experiences;
    4. to report to the Montreal Process Liaison Office on specific proposals for changes to existing rationale statements in the light of experiences in drafting the First Approximation Reports by the end of September 1997;
    5. to ask the Liaison Office to arrange a meeting in the margins of the Eleventh World Forestry Congress in October 1997 to discuss proposals for changes to the rationale statements.
  16. The meeting discussed the preparation of a report on "The State of the Forests" against the Montreal Process indicators. It was agreed that a small sub-group would prepare a proposal on the content, nature and time frame for the report for consideration at the tenth meeting of the Working Group. The Liaison Office will write to members requesting nominations to the sub-group.
  17. The meeting agreed that there was a need for Montreal Process countries to increase the understanding of the Montreal Process criteria and indicators within their member countries. It was also agreed that member countries should involve all relevant groups in the implementation of criteria and indicator processes.
  18. The Montreal Process countries discussed the relationship between certification and criteria and indicators. The Working Group reaffirmed the position taken at the Seventh Meeting of the Montreal Process in New Zealand that "the criteria and indicators have been developed for the assessment of sustainable forest management at the national level. While internationally agreed criteria and indicators could also help clarify ongoing dialogues related to international trade in forest products as noted in Section 1.2 of the Annex to the Santiago Declaration, they are not intended to be used directly for certification at the forest management unit level."
  19. The meeting also discussed a number of other issues. These are listed at Attachment D.
  20. The Montreal Process countries agreed that it was important that other processes and arrangements concerned with forests are kept aware of the Montreal Process through the distribution of relevant information, e.g., Aide Memoires, progress reports etc.
  21. The Montreal Process countries reaffirmed that the procedure for countries to join the Montreal 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 the other Montreal Process countries.
  22. The meeting noted that China will confirm within sixty days whether it can host the Tenth Meeting of the Working Group. If this is not possible, the Russian Federation offered to host the Tenth meeting. If the meeting is hosted by China in 1998, then Russia will host the Eleventh meeting in 1999.
  23. The Montreal Process countries recognised 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 Montreal Process.
  24. The meeting expressed their thanks to the Government and people of the Republic of Korea for their hospitality in hosting the Ninth Meeting of the Montreal Process Working Group.

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Attachment A

9th Meeting of the Working Group on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests
(Montréal Process)

Seoul, Republic of Korea
July 8, 1997


Please see Who is Involved: Montréal Process Contacts

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Attachment B



An Informal and ad hoc technical advisory committee (TAC) was created by the members of the Montreal Process at their Eighth Meeting, held in Canberra, Australia, in June, 1996. The TAC was designed to be a task oriented group with limited membership. Initial tasks assigned to the group included (1) the need for definitions of terms, (2) a consideration of the potential use of forest type as a surrogate for the assessment of biodiversity and (3) advise on approaches to data collection for certain indicators. The TAC met and concluded work on the initially assigned tasks in late September, 1996, in Pasadena, USA.

In its report to the Montreal Process members, the TAC highlighted opportunities for further work of a technical nature in support of the implementation of the criteria and indicators set out in the Santiago Declaration. A side meeting of a number of Montreal Process member countries was held in conjunction with the fourth meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests. In response to the TAC report from Pasadena, the group agreed that a paper be developed by the TAC for consideration at the ninth meeting of the Montreal Process, in July, 1997 in Korea. The paper would include consideration of opportunities for further technical work and an ongoing role for the TAC in support of the Montreal Process.


A number of potential areas for additional work were identified by the TAC in their October 30 memorandum to members of the Montreal Process. These items and others identified at the side meeting of the Montreal Process in February, 1997 in New York, provide a very significant potential agenda for technical work. It will be necessary for the Montreal Process group to examine the potential work items carefully and identify those priority items which may provide the greatest benefits to the member countries. Items that have been recommended for consideration include:

2.1 The development of definitions of additional terms used in the Montreal Process: While many key terms were defined in the first report of the TAC, there remain a number of terms relating to several indicators that could benefit from clearer definition. The Montreal Process group may wish to identify other priority terms needing definition that have arisen during the preparation of the first approximation report.

2.2 The development of approaches to data collection for the remaining Montreal Process indicators: The first report of the TAC proposed approaches to data collection or measurement of about one-third of the Montreal Process indicators. The TAC report has recommended continuing that work and proposing potential approaches for other indicators. Again the priority areas for work may be best identified based on matters that have arisen during the preparation of the first approximation report.

2.3 The development of rationale statements for criteria six and seven. The initial work on rationale statements only applied to criteria one through five. The rationale statements provide a greater depth of explanation for the purpose of each indicator. The TAC report recommended completing the work of drafting rationale statements.

2.4 A revision of the Appendices published with the Santiago Declaration: Items 2.1 to 2.3, in conjunction with work undertaken in the first report of the TAC could provide an expanded set of appendices to the Santiago Declaration and its associated criteria and indicators. Such appendices could include definitions, rationale statements and potential approaches to data collection for the majority, if not all, of the indicators.

2.5 Develop a potential voluntary protocol for indicators requiring field sampling or use of reference sites. This would relate to indicators of forest health and vitality and indicators of the conservation of soil and water. The indicators related to these two criteria tend to be best assessed through point sampling or repeated measurement of permanent sample plots. Identification of potential approaches to field measurement, statistical design and stratification may be of use to countries considering such sampling systems.

2.6 Assessment of the potential for the Montreal process to endorse an existing international protocol for data collection and modeling of carbon budgets for forest ecosystems and forest products. Work on this issue has been undertaken by international agencies including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, and the NATO Scientific Committee. There may be other international protocols relating to biodiversity and forest health monitoring that could also be examined for applicability to the reporting on indicators endorsed under the Santiago Declaration.

2.7 Creation of a multi-lingual glossary of terms: As the work of the Montreal Process deepens technically, there is a need to develop a core set of terminology with consistent meaning and translation across the languages of the Montreal Process members. Such a glossary would provide a source for translators and interpreters of documents and meetings, as well as a reference for technical specialists in the Montreal Process countries and in other criteria and indicators processes. Some sources are currently available to be built on, such as Aird (1994)


The UN FAO has worked to support and facilitate international dialogue on criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management. Beginning with the meeting of the FAO/ITTO Expert Meeting on Harmonization of Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management, held in Rome in February, 1995, the FAO has been an active supporter of extending the development and use of criteria and indicators. The FAO is presently collaborating with the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO) to review forestry concepts and terms in use in a range of language groups, in some 25 countries, covering all regions of the world. The ongoing, first phase of the study, is based on approximately 25 core terms and related concepts, originally defined in the Global Forest Resources Assessment 1990 study (FAO Forestry Paper 124, FAO 1995, Annex 2.3). The FAO has in its 1998 budget planned to help organize, or help support, a joint meeting of the various processes related to criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management to facilitate technical collaboration.

The recent work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests and, in particular, the Intergovernmental Seminar on Criteria and Indicators held in Helsinki in 1996, has identified a desire for stronger technical cooperation and a cross-fertilization of ideas across the existing criteria and indicators processes.

There is a proposed cross-divisional meeting of the eight IUFRO divisions in July or August 1998. This meeting would be designed to examine the state of knowledge relating to key indicators across the major criteria defined by criteria and indicators initiatives to date. This meeting would include scientists, non-governmental organizations and policy-makers.

The 109th paragraph of the IPF report recommends the need to reach common understanding on key concepts and terms. It is likely that the FAO, CIFOR and IUFRO will be working on this together. Also in paragraph 112 of the IPF report it was emphasized that there is a need to enhance comparability and compatibility among the various criteria and indicators processes. Staff of the FAO have undertaken some preliminary examination of the comparability across existing work.

At the forest management unit level there has been continuing international interest in comparing indicators and linking across national to regional to local issues. In this regard an ongoing study by CIFOR has assessed the utility of a wide range of potential indicators in a wide variety of forest types. CIFOR has also sponsored work to examine indicators of genetic biodiversity conservation and the sustainability of tropical plantation forests.


The TAC was created as an ad hoc and task oriented group. It worked well in addressing the first set of tasks assigned to it, and can be considered as a tool for the Montreal Process group to utilize as needed. In the medium term, after the development of the first approximation report, the Montreal Process may wish to focus on deepening the technical work and identification of opportunities for cooperation in designing data collection, monitoring or research efforts.

The potential areas of work identified in Section 2 above can all contribute positively to the successful implementation of the Montreal Process criteria and indicators. However, it must be recognized that the resources available to the TAC are limited and a clearly defined work agenda and a focus on priority tasks are necessary.

An ongoing role for the TAC would be to act as a body to manage progress on technical issues in support of the common objectives of the member countries in implementing the criteria and indicators. The TAC membership could also play a role in representing the Montreal Process member countries in technical fora sponsored by the FAO, IUFRO, CIFOR or other agencies. The TAC could also provide a technical counterpart to an FAO group established to accomplish the IPF mandate. In this regard the TAC role would be to work inter-sessionally between meetings of the Montreal Process group on specific priority tasks identified by the member countries. Membership of the TAC should continue to be drawn from all member countries of the Montreal Process and with the opportunity for participation by non-governmental organizations.

May 8, 1997

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Attachment C


Technical Advisory Committee of the Working Group on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests
(Montreal Process)


At the eighth meeting of the Montreal Process, an ad hoc and informal technical advisory committee (TAC) was created. The TAC was designed to be task-oriented and worked to reach agreement on definitions of terms and approaches to data collection. At the ninth meeting of the Montreal Process, held in July 1997 in Seoul, Republic of Korea, it was decided that the TAC should be maintained in an on-going role in support of the Montreal Process.

Role of the TAC

  1. The TAC will remain task-oriented, informal and technical in nature. It will have tasks assigned at each meeting of the Montreal Process, and will work inter-sessionally to address technical issues of common interest to Montreal Process members. The TAC reports to the Montreal Process Working Group.
  2. The technical functions of the TAC will include:
    • definition of terms and rationales for indicators;
    • addressing data collection, measurement and technical reporting issues;
    • addressing technical implementation issues relating to criteria and indicators;
    • acting in a technical liaison function with other criteria and indicators processes, with the Interagency Task Force on Forests and with other relevant organizations or processes as necessary;
    • assisting the Liaison Office in maintaining the integrity over time of the published reference material relating to the Montreal Process; and
    • providing technical support in capacity building in member countries as needed.


The membership of the TAC will include one representative from each member country, a representative from IUFRO, and up to two non-government organizations.

Time Line

The TAC will have an on-going role within the Montreal Process, but specific tasks and deadlines will be established at each meeting of the full Montreal Process Working Group.


Participation on the TAC and organizational costs will be borne by participants and member countries. The Montreal Process Working Group members will ensure sufficient resources are made available to the TAC for it to complete tasks in the timeframe assigned.

Working Methods

To the extent possible, the TAC will use electronic means of communication and minimize the need for meetings.


Reports of the TAC will be distributed to member countries and other interested parties for comment through the Liaison Office and will be submitted to the Montreal Process Working Group for review and approval.

Tasks Assigned to the TAC at the Ninth Meeting of the Montreal Process

Following on from the first report of the TAC:

  1. Provide definitions of the following terms:
    1. merchantable vs non-merchantable
    2. historic variation
  2. Review existing rationale statements and provide new rationale statements for the indicators in criteria 6 and 7.
  3. Develop proposals for approaches to measurement of all indicators not included in the first work program of the TAC.
  4. Provide the results of work under items 1, 2 and 3 above to the Liaison Office such that the Appendices of the Santiago Declaration can be re-published to include a complete set of definitions of terms, rationale statements, and suggested approaches to data gathering.
  5. For indicators requiring field sampling approaches, recommend aggregation methodologies from the regional to the national level that can best support efficient national reporting.
  6. Working with the FAO and technical bodies under other criteria and indicators processes, seek out opportunities for harmonization of technical definitions and approaches to data gathering where appropriate. Liaise with the FAO to identify priority terms for a multi-lingual glossary of criteria and indicators terms and concepts.

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Annex D

Questions/Issues arising from presentations and discussons on Monday 7 July 1997

  1. Country level implementation
    1. how to progress it
    2. how can we best share experiences
    3. need for sustained effort
    4. where appropriate, development of sub-national indicators linked to national C&I
  2. Cooperation and collaboration
    1. capacity building
    2. technical assistace
  3. Relationship with other processes
    1. harmonization (comparability and compatability)
  4. Reporting and data
  5. Need for review of indicators in light of FAR experience
    1. technical and policy aspects
    2. assessment of indicators in terms of priorities and appropriateness
  6. Technical Advisory Committee
    1. Terms of Reference
    2. Work Program
  7. Clarify terminology and concepts
  8. Information dissemination
    1. awareness raising
    2. using Internet
    3. developing networks and well organised information systems
  9. Interface between policy, research and monitoring
  10. Enhance predictive and diagnostic capability
  11. Encourage other countries to join Montreal or other Processes
  12. How to ensure greater NGO involvement?
  13. Interpretation
    1. how to interpret trends over time?
    2. performance measures
  14. Relationship between C&I and certification

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