The development of criteria and indicators (C&I) to generate information about the status quo and measure changes in sustainable forest management (SFM) has become ever more important. Forest Europe has developed C&I as a policy instrument to monitor and report about SFM. Forest Europe signatories considered the definition of SFM and related C&I as the most recognized achievements of the process. The results of our survey verify this statement. C&I for SFM are implemented at the national level in half of the Forest Europe signatory countries. C&I have served as a structure and framework for the national derivations. Our results confirm the importance of C&I for monitoring and reporting on the status and trend of forests and forestry in Europe. However, Forest Europe has failed so far to go beyond description toward target-based assessments. This was originally not envisaged for the indicators but is increasingly requested by decision-makers and stakeholders. The future development of indicators for SFM should focus on their appropriateness for the assessment of objectives, goals, or targets, because the ability to monitor the respective national efforts has become a critical tool of international but also national governance.
Linser, S.; Wolfslehner, B. National Implementation of the Forest Europe Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management. Forests 2022, 13, 191. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020191