FOREST EUROPE adopts updated indicators for SFM
At the last FOREST EUROPE Expert Level Meeting (ELM) in Madrid on 1 July 2015, which convened with the objective of preparing the 7th FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference, the FOREST EUROPE signatories adopted an updated set of the pan-European criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management (SFM). The new set has not only received a general facelift, but entails also some important new elements for an improved monotoring of Europe's forests.

These updated indicators are the result of an intensive half years process that included a participatory phase (with two online consultations and a workshop) involving all FOREST EUROPE signatories and observer organisations and the establishing of an Advisory Group composed of country representatives, stakeholders and forest monitoring experts to facilitate the updating process. CEPF was actively involved and supported this important revision process in all steps.

The final report of the Advisory Group, which includes the proposal of the updated set of indicators, was presented for consideration at the ELM in Madrid, and after some remarks by participants at the meeting, the ELM agreed on adopting the updated indicators.

The structure of the indicators set has been modified in order to improve the linkage between the qualitative and quantitative indicators. This change aims to better align the forest policy objectives, actions and measures to which qualitative indicators refer with the quantitative information.

The updated set also includes new indicators related to forest land degradation, forest fragmentation and common forest bird species. These new indicators will be further developed in the next reporting period in order to check their availability, feasibility and reliability.

A relevant change has also been made in order to better recognise the role of forests and forest products in adapting to and mitigating climate change. To this end, information about carbon stock changes in forest biomass and forest soils as well as in harvested wood products has been incorporated in the indicator related to carbon stock in forests.

Other significant modifications have been incorporated into the set of indicators in order to improve the information related to other areas, such as the value of and payment for forest ecosystem services, certification schemes, and illegal logging.

The updated pan-European set of indicators for SFM will be formally presented at the 7th FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference, where ministers responsible for forests in Europe are expected to endorse the set.

More information about the updating process of the pan-European set of indicators for SFM can be found here.