The Montreal Process Working Group developed an internationally accepted framework on sustainable forest management. The twelve participating countries were Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Russian Federation, United States of America and Uruguay. These countries are located on five continents and together, represent over 90% of the world's temperate and boreal forests or about 60% of the world's forests. They also account for 45% of the world trade in wood and wood products and 35% of the world's population.
In 1995 the Group reached agreement on defining seven criteria and associated indicators for the conservation and sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests. The criteria define values that the communities wish to maintain, while the indicators provide measures of change in these criteria over time.
As concepts of the conservation and sustainable management of forests are continually evolving, the Montreal Process criteria and indicators will be reviewed and adjusted as appropriate to reflect:
- improvements in scientific knowledge as to how forest ecosystems function and respond to human interventions;
- increased experience in and capability to measure indicators;
- advances in technology;
- changing public demands for forest products and services; and
improved definition of indicators that measure significant and useful aspects of sustainability of forest management.