SFM Monitoring and Reporting
FOREST EUROPE, as a regional policy process, has pursued the need to assess the state of forests and the progress toward sustainable forest management at regional and national level. Within the past decade a consensus has emerged that progress toward sustainable forest management can be assessed using a framework of criteria and indicators. While the C&I framework may not be the only mechanism for monitoring, assessing and reporting on SFM, it is the only one that has so far been widely accepted and is being used by many countries.
Therefore, one of the main tools to improve assess progress towards SFM at national and regional level has been the use of criteria and indicators to identify trends in the forest sector and the effects of forest management interventions over time, facilitating in this way informed decision-making on forest policy and management at all levels (sub-national, national, regional and global).
At a regional level, FOREST EUROPE presents periodically since 2003, the State of Europe´s Forest Report, that provides a comprehensive, up-to-date description of the status and trends of forests and forest management in Europe, following the Pan-European Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management.
However, monitoring and reporting is a complex and potentially very expensive function. There is a need of adequate, accessible forest information to develop cost effective, practical and pragmatic approaches to achieve meaningful results, reduce reporting burdens on countries and improve reporting on Europe’s forests and the goals and 2020 targets for European forests.
Recognizing these necessities the Ministers decided in the Oslo Ministerial Decision: European Forests 2020 paragraph 24 b:
“Further improvements in forest monitoring and reporting
Stressing the importance of adequate, accessible and evidence-based forest information at all levels of policy making, and for informing the broader public, FOREST EUROPE will further improve the basis for forest monitoring and harmonised reporting systems to serve emerging needs, including for verification of legality and sustainability”
Towards this end a common data collection with FAO’s Global Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) 2015 is being explored. This will allow improving and harmonizing data collection and will ensure consistent time series for the pan-European quantitative indicators.
In the longer term, the continuously improved pan-European forest monitoring and reporting would reflect the evolution of Sustainable Forest Management and its tools, including valuation of ecosystem services, serve verification of sustainability/legality, and evaluation of achievements on goals of 2020 targets for European forests.