The Montréal Process Working Group brings together, in common purpose, twelve countries from the southern and northern hemispheres:
The member countries occur in five of the seven continents and together represent about 90 per cent of the world's temperate and boreal forests, as well as areas of tropical forests, and 60 per cent of the world's forests. The group works, through a policy level Working Group and a Technical Advisory Committee, to advance the development and implementation of internationally agreed criteria and indicators for the conservation and sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests (outside Europe) at the national level.
Argentina is located in the southern part of South America. It occupies an area of approximately 277 million hectares. The country’s forest resource, composed of native and planted forests, covers about 55 million hectares, or 20% of the total territory. Due to its location and broad extent, Argentina encompasses a range of climatic and geomorphological conditions, giving rise to a huge variety of ecoregions and ecosystems. 10 of Argentina’s 18 ecoregions contain forests and include subtropical, arid, and temperate forest types.
Australia is an island nation located south of Indonesia between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Australia's total land mass of 769 million hectares supports about 134 million hectares (or 17 per cent by land area) of forest and almost 2 million hectares of plantations. While Australia’s forests and woodlands are dominated by Eucalyptus, these are very diverse with over 700 species of eucalypts, which support a rich diversity of ecosystems, varied in their floristic composition, structure and fauna.
Canada is the northern most country in North America and has the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic Oceans on its western, eastern and northern borders. Canada has 347 million ha of forest land, representing 9% of the world’s forest cover and 24% of the world’s boreal forest. Canada is a country of mainly lakes, rivers and forests. The forest cover in Canada varies from grasslands to temperate forests, with boreal forest and arctic tundra across the north.
Chile lies on the western and southern part of the Southern Cone of America, extending to the Antarctic continent, and including Easter Island to the West. The country's territory covers a surface of 75.7 million ha, of which 33.8 million are classified as forest lands (44.6%) Due to its large geographical extension, the country's climate range includes deserts, steppes, Mediterranean, rainy moderate warm, rainy maritime, cold steppes, tundra and polar climates. The variation in latitude and altitude allows the formation of a wide diversity of vegetation in Chile.
The forest resource is comprised of Native Forests, Plantations, and a combination these two, covering a total estimated area of 14,208,569 ha. Eight vegetation areas have been identified for the country: desert, high Andean steppe, schlerophyllous brush and forest, deciduous forest, Lauraceae forest, Andean patagonian forest, evergreen forest, and peat bogs and patagonian steppe.
China is the third largest country in the world with an area of 960 million ha (mainland). It is located in northeast Asia with Mongolia on the northern border with the East and South China Seas to the east. Its geography varies from mountains to plains and deserts. The climate varies from sub-arctic in the northeastern region to tropical in the south.
Japan is a chain of islands located off the eastern edge of the Eurasian Continent. The islands stretch over 3 000 km from the northeast to the southeast, and the total land area is approximately 38 million ha. In general, topography is very steep, reaching 2 000-3 000 meters above sea level at the central part of the four main islands. The major part of Japan is under the influence of a wet monsoon climate and has four distinct seasons. The climatic conditions vary according not only to the latitude but also to the altitude and topographic features. Forests cover approximately 25 million ha, occupying 67% of the total land area of Japan. Boreal, temperate and sub-tropical forest are distributed within the Japan's north-south ranging geography. Of Japan's total forest area, planted forests covered 10.4 million ha, occupying 41% of the country, while natural forests covered 13.4 million ha or 53% in 1995.
Korea is a peninsular country located in Asia neighboured by China, Russia, and Japan. Korea has a temperate climate characterized by hot and humid summer monsoons and by cold and dry continental winter weather. Korea is a mountainous nation, covered largely by forest which accounts for 65% of the total land base of 9.9 million ha. In general, most of Korea's forest is temperate, but semi-tropical forest occurs in the southern part and semi-boreal forests in the northern part of the Korean peninsula.
Mexico is located in southern North America with The United States to the north. Mexico has an area of roughly 197 million ha of which 72% are forest lands, occupied by temperate forest, and tropical rain forest. Temperate forest grow on an area of 30 million ha. Temperate forests are composed of pure conifer stands, mixed conifer, and hardwood stands. These forests are growing in the mountain regions of the country, in altitude bands ranging from 800 to 3 000 meters above sea level.
New Zealand, a geographically young country comprising two narrow mountainous islands and a number of small offshore islands, is located southeast of Australia in the Pacific Ocean. New Zealand has a total land area of 27 million ha. Of this area, forests cover 29 percent, or 7.94 million ha. Of this, 6.4 million ha are natural forest and 1.54 million ha are planted forest. New Zealand's indigenous forests are located mainly in the mountain lands, particularly on the West Coast of the South Island.
Russia is the largest country in the world. Stretching from the borders with Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine and Turkey in the west, along borders with Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China, to reach the Pacific Ocean some 6,000 km later. Its area is 1,707 million ha. Due to its great size, Russia has varied climates and a varied geography. It is a fairly cold country with northern pine and spruce forests. There are 3 major rivers that flow through the country as well as small Ural mountains.
The United States of America is located in North America with Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The total area of the US is roughly 916 million ha of which 300.8 million ha is forest land. These lands vary in character from the boreal forests of Alaska, to the temperate forests of most of the continental US, to the tropical forests of Puerto Rico and Hawaii. The vegetation cover of the US varies greatly and is directly related to temperature and annual precipitation levels. Those areas receiving substantial precipitation are predominately forested, while semiarid and arid locations support grasses and shrubs and are often associated with irrigated agriculture and/or rangeland. Forests are widely, though unevenly distributed across the continent. They range from the sparse scrub lands of the arid interior West, to the highly productive forests of the South and Pacific Coast. They include pure hardwood and softwood stands as well as mixtures.
Uruguay is located on the east coast of South America and bounded by Brazil to the north, Argentina to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Its area is roughly 17 million ha. The countryside is hilly and it has temperate weather year round. Uruguay has 667,315 ha of natural forests and 495,540 ha of man-made forests. Of the latter, 344,920 ha are classified as commercial forest, while 150,620 are protected forest. For the past three years, and within the framework of the new forest policy, the afforestation rate has been 60,000 ha annually. Natural forests cover 3.3% of the national territory and are located on river banks and in hilly areas, wet valleys, parks, palm groves and coastal sandy areas. Different types of vegetation are found in the grasslands, highlands and lowlands of Uruguay, including meadow species, chircales, psammophytes, halophytes, and plants typical of marshy and aquatic environments.