Australia is a member of the Group of countries that developed the Montreal Process criteria and indicators and has made a commitment to report performance against these indicators. Australian governments have agreed that the seven criteria and associated indicators developed by the Montreal Process address all the forest values the broader community seeks to maintain.
Within Australia there are a number of significant forest regions and it became apparent that to effectively apply the sustainable principles, regional criteria and indicators would need to be developed. To ensure a consistent approach, Australia established a Montreal Process Implementation Group to coordinate national activities relating to the criteria and indicators and ensure regional consistency.
By agreement between State and Commonweath governments, regions were identified and individual Regional Forest Agreements (RFA) prepared that defined sustainable forest management for each region. Each of these regions is large enough to have a range of different values from preservation of species and biodiversity, conservation, to timber production and recreation.
The Montreal Process and the Regional Forest Agreements are separate processes and are not directly linked. However the regional indicators within the Regional Forest Agreement monitoring process agreed by the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments are based on the Montreal Process indicators.
Similarly the Montreal Process criteria and indicators have no formal links to forest certification. However, the drafting of the Australian Forestry Standard reflects Australia’s commitment to the Montreal Process criteria and indicators.