The forests of the world perform critical roles as the lungs of our planet, protector of our soils, filter of our waterways, home to countless species, and creators of wealth. The wise utilization and protection of these forests are matters of global necessity.
The Montreal Process, through its Criteria and Indicators of Sustainable Forest Management provides its member countries with:
- An internationally agreed, locally supported tool to integrate issues as they apply to forests;
- A common ground on which stakeholders, public agencies and countries can work out shared objectives and collaborative actions toward sustainable forest management;
- A common framework to monitor, assess, and report on trends in forest conditions with respect to the full range of forest values and, in turn, on the progress toward sustainable forest management;
- A network and forum for exchanging knowledge and experience, deliberating policy tools, maintaining awareness of the important role of forests, and fostering collaboration among countries with diverse natural, socio-economic, and cultural backgrounds.
One of the most notable and valuable achievements of the Montréal Process has been the establishment of mutual trust and confidence which has encouraged the 12 member countries to develop a “network of knowledge”. Through discussion, research, cooperation, communication, and capacity-building between countries, this network has enabled member countries to make individual and collective progress in tackling the four critical issues, as demonstrated in the case studies that follow.