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Sustainable Resource Management:Criteria and Indicators

The U.S. is a participant in the Montreal Process.   The member countries reached a non-binding agreement in 1995 on a framework of criteria and indicators (C&I) that provides a common definition of what characterizes sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests. Member countries in the Montreal Process today include the United States, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Republic of Korea, Chile, Mexico, China, the Russian Federation, Uruguay, and Argentina. These countries encompass over 90 percent of the world's temperate and boreal forests, and 60 percent of all forests. Each nation assumes individual responsibility for the assessment of its own forests.

The Montreal Process C&I characterize the essential components of sustainable forest management, and provide a framework for discussing the importance and status of forests. There are seven criteria and sixty-seven indicators. They describe, at a national level, vital ecological functions and attributes of forests; the social and economic benefits that forests provide; and the overall policy and legal frameworks, institutions, and processes that enable society's efforts to achieve sustainable forest management.

The U.S. is applying the Montreal Process Criteria and Indicators (C&I) as a common framework for monitoring progress towards sustainable resource management at national, regional, state and local scales. The following multi-stakeholder processes are working towards applying the C&I to a variety of sectors and scales.

U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250
www.usda.gov