The Montréal Process Criteria

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 Montreal Process includes Criteria and corresponding indicators by which to measure sustainable forest management.

Biological diversity enables an ecosystem to respond to external influences, to recover after disturbance, and to maintain essential ecological processes.

For forests to be sustainable it is necessary to understand the levels at which goods and services may be extracted or used without undermining the functioning of forest ecosystems and processes.

Decline in forest ecosystem health and vitality may have significant economic and ecological consequences for society including a loss of forest benefits and the degradation of environmental quality.

Forest management activities can significantly alter forest soils, water quality and associated aquatic habitats.

Forests are renewable and one of the largest terrestrial reservoirs of biomass and soil carbon. They have an important role in global carbon cycles as sinks and sources of carbon.

Forests provide a wide variety of social, cultural and economic goods, services and other benefits that contribute to meeting the needs of society. Many people and communities, including indigenous peoples, are dependent on forests for their livelihood and well being.

Legislation, institutional capacity and economic arrangements, with associated policy measures at both national and sub-national levels, create an enabling environment for the sustainable management of forests.