Sustainable forest management is about looking after our forests in a way that meets our needs now and into the future, providing economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits for generations to come.
There is an increasing demand from overseas markets for sustainably produced wood products – to stay competitive in overseas markets we need to be able to demonstrate how we manage our forests sustainably. However, sustainable forest management isn't the same for different countries, different types of forest and for different forest uses.
New Zealand monitors the sustainability of our forest management through an international system called the Montreal Process on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests (the Montreal Process).
What is the Montreal Process?
The Montreal Process provides a common way for member countries to measure their progress towards sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests.
The criteria and indicators
Countries using the Montréal Process assess their forest management against 7 criteria and 54 indicators to report on their progress toward sustainable forest management. The criteria represent different aspects of sustainability. The indicators help to measure or describe each criterion in more detail.
The Montreal Process allows flexibility for the diverse member countries and forests and allows countries to highlight aspects of their forest management in greater depth than other international reporting systems.
Members of the Montreal Process
The Montreal Process Working Group meets regularly to discuss policy issues and is supported by the Technical Advisory Committee of forest scientists.
The Working Group is made up of 12 countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Russian Federation, United States of America, and Uruguay. These countries account for around 90% of the world's temperate and boreal forests, 49% of the world's forests and 49% of the world's roundwood production.
What the Montreal Process means for New Zealand
New Zealand has produced 3 Montreal Process reports since 2003. The reports show New Zealand's ongoing commitment and progress towards sustainable forest management.
Highlights of the latest report (2015) show:
- a 50% increase in the volume of sustainable harvesting
- an increase in the standing volume of plantation forests
- improvements in the quality of data used for measuring our forests
- a focus on the health and safety of workers in the forestry industry
Using Montreal Process information
Monitoring and reporting through the Montreal Process has helped to guide forest management in New Zealand – the reports show our strengths and progress in sustainable forest management, while highlighting areas where we need to focus our efforts. Across Government there is now more frequent reporting on some criteria and indicators.
New Zealand planted forests portal
The New Zealand planted forests portal is a freely available information portal based on the Montreal Process. The portal was set up to help people understand forest sustainability in New Zealand by providing current and historical information about New Zealand's planted forests.
Find out more
- New Zealand's first country report on the Montreal Process (2003) [PDF, 961 KB]
- New Zealand overview report, 2003 [PDF, 246 KB]
- New Zealand's second country report on the Montreal Process (2008) [PDF, 13 MB]
- New Zealand's third country report on the Montreal Process (2015) [PDF, 7.4 MB]
Who to contact
If you have questions about the Montreal Process, email email@example.com.