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Indicators for the Sustainable Management of French Forests - 2005 edition

The French Ministry of Agriculture has just released "Indicators for the sustainable management of French forests - 2005 edition", published in English. This is the third edition of this report that has been published every five years since 1995. It is available online at http://www.ifn.fr/spip/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=85&lang=en.

The report analyses information from 56 indicators, reviewing the progress and problems encountered in applying sustainable management strategies in French forests. The broad range of topics covered under the six criteria clearly highlights the complexity of situations encountered and the need for a global approach to sustainable forest management. The report also features information on the impact of two major climatic events that had a serious impact on metropolitan French forests since the previous edition of the report, i.e. the severe storms of late December 1999 and the drought-heat wave of 2003. An in-depth analysis of the impacts of these events is presented under Criterion 2 (Maintenance of forest ecosystem health and vitality).

The Ministry of Agriculture has noted that this indicator assessment provides a number of benefits to France, including:
- being an effective monitoring tool for the national forest programme, which is currently being drawn up.
- providing an opportunity to test the feasibility of some new quantitative indicators - the report notes that it was possible to assemble data on all but one of the 35 quantitative indicators tested.
- providing an opportunity to continue the sustainable forest management debate with all national and international stakeholders

The report is also available French and a Spanish version should be available shortly.