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Forest Europe

UNECE Forestry and Timber


Project Coordinator

European Forest Institute


Jul 28, 2014

The Romanian government, Greenpeace and WWF have started the nomination process for the virgin beech forests of Romania to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The designation process and all the procedures related to it will take approximately two years.

Jul 25, 2014

The benefits of using native species in large scale rehabilitation and restoration projects are highlighted in a new publication from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).


About the project

The project is an integrated element of the FOREST EUROPE work programme and is coordinated and conducted by the European Forest Institute (EFI), in close cooperation with FOREST EUROPE Liaison Unit Madrid, UNECE/FAO, METLA and relevant experts. The project is carried out with the financial
support of the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV).


Criteria and indicators (C&I) have emerged as a powerful tool to promote sustainable forest management (SFM). Since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNECD) in Rio in 1992, several different international processes and initiatives have developed criteria and indicators as a policy instrument to evaluate and report progress towards SFM. FOREST EUROPE is the pan-European policy process for the sustainable management of the continent's forests. It develops common strategies for its 46 participating countries and the European Union on how to protect and sustainably manage forests. The FOREST EUROPE process has developed a pan-European C&I set which consists of:
  • 6 criteria
  • 35 quantitative indicators which describe the forest status and changes.
  • 17 qualitative indicators which describe national forest policies, institutions and instruments.

This pan- European set has been the basis for FOREST EUROPE's State of Europe’s Forests assessments in 2003, 2007 and 2011. It has also provided a basis for regional and national policy formulation, analysis and monitoring. However, the picture of how this pan-European set has been implemented remains rather vague. The C&I for SFM project aims to fill that gap.


Project aims

The C&I for SFM project aims to:

  • Analyse the implementation of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management in the 46 FOREST EUROPE signatory states.
  • Strengthen the process and use of criteria and indicators, not only as a tool for monitoring and reporting, but also for policy making at national and European level.

The main background documents of the project is the MCPFE (2002) “Background Information on Improved Pan-European Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management”, as adopted at the MCPFE Expert Level Meeting, 7-8 October 2002 in Vienna; and the FOREST EUROPE/UNECE/FAO State of Europe’s Forest reports 2003, 2007 and 2011. The project includes quantitative and qualitative indicators alike.

Project structure:

The project consists of seven Work Packages (WPs):

WP1: Project management and dissemination
WP2: State-of-the-art of the development and implementation of C&I for SFM and resulting challenges
WP3: National assessments and reports on C&I implementation
WP4: Regional/National Workshops on C&I development and implementation
WP5: Pan-European Forum on C&I implementation
WP6: Final report and recommendations on C&I further development and implementation
WP7: Networking and web platform on C&I for SFM

The coordinating unit is the EFICENT-OEF Office (located in Nancy, France and Freiburg, Germany). In addition the following EFI units are involved in the implementation EFI Headquarters (Joensuu, Finland); EFIATLANTIC (Bordeaux, France); EFIMED (Barcelona, Spain); and EFICEEC (Vienna, Austria). The project also benefit the experience and contribution received from other institutions, like the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Joensuu, Finland) or the Institute for World Forestry (Hamburg, Germany)

More information on the Work Packages below.

Advisory Group

In addition to the implementing project team, an Advisory Group (AG) was established. The AG will support the project activities while assuring the scientific quality and the necessary cooperation and communication with the related stakeholders. The AG will also provide guidance to the main outputs of the project, i.e. the state-of-art-report, the final report and workshops. The members of the AG are listed below:
  • Michael Köhl (Institute for World Forestry)
  • Myriam Martin (FOREST EUROPE Liaison Unit Madrid)
  • Roman Michalak (UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber section)
  • Jari Parviainen (Finnish Forest Research Institute)
  • Matthias Schwoerer (FOREST EUROPE General Coordinating Committee)

Platform for other C&I projects and related initiatives:

Cooperation with and synergies to ongoing or other newly started C&I for SFM related projects, like as initiated under the FOREST EUROPE working programme, will be facilitated. The project will serve as a platform to interlink other ongoing C&I related projects and initiatives in Europe, and facilitate a) networking and closer communication and exchange between C&I experts in Europe and b) building the bridge from sub-national and national level initiatives to the pan-European process. This will be mainly achieved through active science-policy interface oriented networking and communication with experts and relevant stakeholders and through the establishment of a technical web platform on C&I for SFM (for more details, see WP7). The project will investigate options to engage other partners to provide additional supplementary contribution to the project, for instance assisting in co-organising and hosting technical workshops.

Work Packages

The following Work Packages (WPs) have been designed to reach the objectives of the project:


WP1: Project management and dissemination

The technical management includes all aspects of communication, collaboration and coordination to meet the technical and quality targets of the project. This will involve project meetings, the organisation of workshops, and the timely submission of deliverables.


WP2: State of the Art of C&I development and implementation

The State of the Art report, on the development, implementation and future challenges of the pan-European C&I for SFM, provides a historical overview of the different developments at European and national levels, as well as other sectors, and develops a working definition of “implementing C&I”. It also evaluates the achievements of the pan-European C&I process. In addition to literature reviews, contacts are taken with expert representatives of other C&I processes and activities related to forests.


WP3: National assessments and reports on C&I implementation

They determine to what extent the C&I are being implemented at national and subnational levels, and in what ways (e.g. monitoring and data collection, national forest reports, policy formulation, communication). This WP will also investigate the factors of effectiveness and the fields of application of C&I, and furthermore identify its challenges and future prospects  at national and subnational levels.

WP4: Regional C&I Workshops

Regional workshops will help increasing awareness on the development and use of C&I, and facilitate information exchange about relevant experience among the signatory states of FOREST EUROPE.

Preliminary, three regional workshops are foreseen to be implemented during spring 2013, covering the following geographical regions:


Each regional workshop will last a day and a half, and will be based on the project philosophy and the actual progress of the project to date. During the preparations the project team will consider the information gathered under WP2 and WP3, in order to address the emerging topics and issues in the particular region related to C&I. The number of participants is expected to be between 15-25 people, representing research, national and sub-national authorities and implementing bodies, forest practice and other forest related sectors.


WP5: pan-European C&I Forum

A pan-European Forum of 2 days will be organised during the final project phase. It will bring together the regional analysis and the experiences collected from the national reports and allow the presentation and the discussion on the preliminary findings of the project. This event is  scheduled on 8-9 October 2013 (to be confirmed).


WP6: Final report and recommendations

The final report will summarise the results of the project. It includes the results of the research carried out under WP2 and WP3, which compiles the national and regional approaches for implementation of criteria and indicators among the FOREST EUROPE 46 signatory countries. The outputs from the regional workshops and the pan-European Forum (WP4 and WP5) will also be incorporated.

WP7: Networking and web platform on C&I for SFM

The networking activity started with the project kick-off meeting. The web site will be accessible for the project duration and will be kept online after the project finalization as well. It will serve as a platform to interlink ongoing C&I related projects and initiatives in Europe, and facilitate:

a) Closer communication and exchange between C&I experts

b) Building bridges from sub-national and national level initiatives to the pan-European C&I process.

The platform will aim at fostering the collaboration between forest and other environmental sectors and indicator systems applied.

CI-SFM in brief

Duration: 01.07.2011–31.12.2013
Budget: 695,680 EUR
Funder: German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV)
Partners: European Forest Institute, FOREST EUROPE Liaison Unit, UNECE/FAO, METLA


The project outputs will include:

  • A state-of-the-art report on the development, implementation and future challenges for European criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management.
  • Regional workshops to help information exchange and increase awareness about C&I.
  • A pan-European Forum to bring together the regional analysis and national experience.
  • A final summary report, including recommendations for improving the C&I set.

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