The Forestry Program at UVM's Rubenstein School has identified the criteria defined through the Montreal Process as those that will guide curricular development and review within the Program. For those unfamiliar with the Montreal Process, and its Criteria for Sustainable Forestry, a brief summary is offered below.

The Montreal Process

The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) called upon all nations to ensure sustainable development, including the management of all types of forests. Following UNCED, Canada convened an International Seminar of Experts on Sustainable Development of Boreal and Temperate Forests. This seminar, held in Montreal in 1993, focused specifically on criteria and indicators and how they can help define and measure progress towards sustainable development of forests. The Montreal Process began in June 1994, in Geneva, with the first meeting of the Working Group on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests.

The Montreal Process Working Group agreed on a framework of criteria and indicators that provide member countries with a common definition of what characterizes sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests. These results were accepted and endorsed by twelve temperate-zone countries, including the United States.The framework identifies seven criteria:

  • Conservation of biological diversity
  • Maintenance of productive capacity of forest ecosystem
  • Maintenance of forest ecosystem health
  • Conservation and maintenance of soil and water resources
  • Maintenance of forest contribution to global carbon cycles
  • Maintenance and enhancement of long-term multiple socio-economic benefits to meet the needs of society
  • Legal, institutional and economic frameworks for forest conservation and sustainable management