Frameworks and Assessments

Frameworks and Assessments group indicators and the analysis of these indicators at specific spatial scales over a period of time.

Special Assessments

Proposed Forest and Rangeland Indicators from CalFire.

As part of the California Water Plan Update 2013, the water sustainability indicators framework project developed indicators to measure progress toward meeting stakeholder and Water Plan goals and objectives. These indicators capture many aspects of the social, economic, and natural systems that are influenced by water use and management.

These indicators represent the first draft of indicators recommended by UC Davis for use in the 2015 Forests and Rangelands Assessment.

General Assessments

Every five years, the Victorian Catchment Management Council is required by the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 to report to Parliament through the Minister for Environment on the condition and management of Victoria’s catchments. This report employs a suite of environmental indicators, clustered into eight themes, and compiled from a range of available information. These indicators help in the assessment of the condition of the State’s land and water resources, and in the assessment of management responses.

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks countries on performance indicators tracked across policy categories that cover both environmental public health and ecosystem vitality. These indicators provide a gauge at a national government scale to how close countries are to establish environmental policy goals.

This report identifies generic condition and pressure indicators for land, water quantity, water quality, and aquatic and riparian ecosystems and explains how these indicators are linked to environmental outcomes. Goals: To identify the environmental features or elements that are most relevant to the common environmental issues facing the region

Sound Health 2012 provides a snapshot of the environmental health of Long Island Sound. It uses environmental indicators—developed from data collected by research and monitoring programs—to provide insight into whether waters are becoming cleaner, habitats such as wetlands healthier, and natural resources such as fish more abundant. Sound Health 2012 considers both the science of how Long Island Sound functions and the uses of the ecosystem valued by citizens, communities, and businesses.

This Assessment Report is essentially a background paper designed to provide the best information available about the status of New Hampshire’s forests to facilitate a revision to the Plan with input from many stake holder groups. With assistance from the USDA Forest Service, the Division of Forests and Lands has decided to use the framework of the Montreal Process Criteria and Indicators as the basis for the Assessment report. The Criteria and Indicators used for this assessment are a series of 7 Criteria and 18 Indicators and associated data sources that the USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area (NA) and the 20 State forestry agencies in the Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters (NAASF) developed for use in ongoing monitoring efforts in this region. In this way, subsequent use of the framework will yield comparable results within districts (geographic areas like the State of New Hampshire) or among districts. The report is structured directly around these 7 Criterion and 18 Indicators.

The 2006 Sustainability Snapshot profiles the social, economic and environmental health of the Fraser Basin, and is the third in a series of reports prepared by the Fraser Basin Council since January 2003. The purpose of Sustainability Snapshot 3 is to help: • Increase public awareness and understanding of sustainability issues and trends • Identify critical issues and appropriate responses to improve progress towards sustainability • Inform and influence decisions and actions to advance sustainability. Sustainability indicators are not decisive measurements or solutions in and of themselves. They can, however, reflect certain trends and help identify areas where progress is being made and where more change is required.

Environmental indicators summarise complex information about our environment into key measures – which may be physical, chemical, biological or socio-economic – so that we can understand what’s happening in our environment. We measure these indicators regularly so we can detect changes in the environment over time.

General Frameworks

A key priority for EPA is to base Agency actions on sound scientific data, analyses, and interpretations. The SAB provides a mechanism for the Agency to receive peer review and other advice designed to make a positive difference in the production and use of science at EPA.

The report, which looks at some of the major factors that may be contributing to changing conditions, analyzes data collected by CVC through its Integrated Watershed Monitoring Program (IWMP) over many years of monitoring the Credit River Watershed. This report is significant because it tracks changes in the watershed over the long-term, providing a comprehensive analysis about its health.

The Report on the Environment (ROE) presents the best available indicators of information on national conditions and trends in air, water, land, human health, and ecological systems that address 23 questions EPA considers mission critical to protecting our environment and human health.

The framework aims to assess the effects of forest management on forest composition, structure and functioning. It consists of seven principles and 19 criteria, to which 157 potential indicators, selected from literature, were assigned; 40 of these were considered as suitable by an expert panel, based on 10 operational selection criteria. All indicators were quantitative variables measurable in the field. After elaboration of a measurement protocol, the indicator framework was validated in 115 forest stands, distributed over the three main forest types of Flanders. The new indicator framework exhibited greater sensitivity to forest management practices and demonstrated better discriminating power than the method that is currently used by the Flemish forest administration to estimate the naturalness and environmental quality of a forest stand. Following a detailed cost calculation of each indicator and based on the sensitivity of each indicator to forest management practices, the indicator framework was further reduced to a final set of 29 indicators.

Ecosystem health indicators are valuable tools for evaluating site-specific outcomes of collaboration based on the effects of collaboration on ecological and socioeconomic conditions. The authors present the holistic ecosystem health indicator, a framework for evaluating the outcomes of collaborative processes, which uses ecological, social, and interactive indicators to monitor conditions through time. The authors draw upon our experience working with the Diablo Trust, a community-based collaborative group in northern Arizona, USA, to illustrate the development of an indicator selection model generated through a stakeholder-driven process.

State of the Environment (SoE) reports are designed to communicate credible, timely and accessible information about the condition of the environment to decision makers and the community. The 2007 SoE Report does not consider all of the many environmental issues facing Western Australia (WA). Rather, it focuses on the major environmental issues, so as to draw attention on them and to help set the State's environmental policy agenda for the next five years.

Forest and Rangeland Assessments

This Assessment was the first to use the Montreal Process Criteria and indicators to report on conditions in California forests and rangeland ecosystems and communities.

This is the proposed framework for the 2015 Forest and Rangeland Assessment. It includes indicators that were drawn from interviews with CalFire staff and others who will be developing the 2015 Assessment.

This project is a joint effort of the Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable and the Society for Range Management. During a series of meetings from 2001 to 2003, the Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable (SRR) developed the five criteria and 64 indicators of sustainable rangeland management. The SRR is a collaborative, inclusive organization, comprised of participants representing universities, federal research agencies, federal, state and local land management agencies, tribal governments, scientific societies, and both environmental and commodity-oriented non-governmental organizations. To achieve its goal, the SRR dealt with multiple issues, including those of scale and definitions. The criteria used are based on those of the Montreal Process and the concept of sustainability used here originates from the internationally-accepted definition for sustainable development contained within the UN's Brundtland Report: “... development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” More specifically, the SRR defines sustainable rangeland management as involving "the kinds of management that consider all aspects of rangelands, including their environmental, economic, and social values and the attempts to integrate them to achieve a sustainable future.

The Montréal Process (MP) Working Group on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests --“The Montréal Process” -- was launched in 1994 as a response to the Rio Forest Principles. Today, the Working Group has 12 member countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Russian Federation, United States of America and Uruguay.The MP Working Group brings together countries with highly diverse ecological, economic and social conditions to share experiences related to forest monitoring, assessment and reporting. Regular meetings of the Working Group are hosted by member countries on a rotational basis and are open to representatives of other criteria and indicators processes, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

Forest and Rangeland Frameworks

This framework was developed by the Oregon Department of Forestry and others. The seven strategies of the Forestry Program for Oregon form a framework around which forest sustainability issues can be organized and discussed and identify the outcomes the Board of Forestry wants to achieve from a statewide perspective. The indicators should be viewed as the “vital signs” Oregon will use to track the environmental, economic, and social benefits and values we derive from Oregon’s forests and our progress on the journey towards sustainability. The set of initial desired trend statements in this report are recommended as a starting point for Oregonians to discuss and further refine.

To date, most data required for decision support have not been systematically converted into information. To address this critical gap, the Water Security Agency developed the State of the Watershed Reporting Framework. The State of the Watershed Report, based on that framework, will provide a basis for governments, decision-makers, industry and the community to act in the long-term interest of environmental sustainability.
The report uses indicators to assess the current health of Saskatchewan's watersheds, provide information about human activities that impact the environment within watersheds, and evaluate the effectiveness of the management activities. All of this information is presented in an easy-to-understand report card format.

This publication presents the third set of Indicators of Sustainable Development and provides suggestions on how to adapt them to national conditions and priorities. The indicators of sustainable development presented here reflect the valuable experiences of countries and international organizations over the past fifteen years since the adoption of Agenda 21 in Rio de Janeiro. The publication also provides guidance on applying and adapting the CSD indicators for the development of national indicator sets. The role of indicator frameworks is briefly discussed, and a succinct description of all indicators is included.

This framework for evaluating rangeland health was developed by an inter-agency consortium of scientists from the Bureau of Land Management, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the US Geological Survey, and the Agricultural Research Service.

Water Assessments

The Feather River Basin Report Card provides a description of conditions relative to our expectations and goals for the Basin. It is a science-based solution to a social and management need. The Report Card measures aspects of the whole integrated system relative to stakeholder goals. It reports on the system using regionally-important and science-based indicators. Because the indicators are assessed using transparent reference points, they provide a measurement of health that can be assessed in future report cards.

Napa County Planning, Napa County RCD, UC Davis, and Sonoma Ecology Center developed this summary of watershed conditions using the California Watershed Assessment Framework. Indicators for ecological, social, and economic condition were analyzed at the sub-watershed and watershed scales.

SAWPA has been working with the California Water Plan funded team at UC Davis and Council for Watershed Health to develop indicators that measure progress toward regional goals.