Presentation on theme: "The Importance and Potential Benefits of Sustainability Indicators Sustainable Development Issues Team/International Programs Robert L. Hendricks July."— Presentation transcript:
The Importance and Potential Benefits of Sustainability Indicators Sustainable Development Issues Team/International Programs Robert L. Hendricks July 23, 2001
Who am I and why is my perspective of any value? Forest planner for 20 years Worked in International Programs 10 years Forest Service historian for three years One foot in each scalelocal, national, international
My talk will focus on What we will get from C&I, not What they want or will get from C&I
Refresh on Background The Rio Earth Summit 1992 Sustainable Development – Forest Principles -- The worlds first agreement on forests –Agenda for the 21 st Century (Agenda 21) –Convention on Biological Diversity –Global Climate Change Treaty Second Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe –Public announcement of the goal of SFM by the year 2000 Growing world public interest, world wide, in SD/SFM
Presidential Decision Directive /NSC National goal of sustainability Equates sustainability issues with national security
Helsinki Commitment to the goal of SFM by 2000
What is Sustainable Development? Sustainable development is not a fixed state of harmony, but rather a process of change in which the management of resources, direction of investment, technological development and institutional change are consistent with future as well as present needs. Prime Minister of Norway Gro Brundtland in Our Common Future.
The Montreal Process 12 temperate and boreal forest countries characterize and agreed on how to measure national progress in SFM The resulting agreement to implement called the Santiago Declaration (1995)
The Montreal Process -- continued Over 20 stakeholder organizations participated in preparing the US for the negotiations Stakeholders served as US delegates –AF&PA, NASF –Environmental organizations attended independently First Approximation Report assessed our national capability to report on the C&I
National Association of State Foresters--Letter to the Chief, 1997 Federal government cannot do it all Roundtable on Sustainable Forests
So what is really driving us to implement C&I? Stakeholder criticism? Framework for common data structure, dialogue, focus scarce resources Ability to response to sustainable development goals Data for 2003 Report Not really
Self interest National interest –Brazil looses 40% of its European market because of this issue –Canada and others worried –Basis for US international policy State interest –Another way to leverage influence FS to improve better forest inventory –World is being globalized, keeping up Industry –Protect interests –Protect market share, National C&I and certification Environmental Groups –Better data to make their point of view
What is the end point of this program? This is not a program! There is no end. It is changing with way we do business –Framework for understanding –Inventory –Assessment –Planning –Reporting –Policy making
The SRR notes reveal skepticism Many things determine decisions rather than facts Disconnect between policy and field reality Can indicators be developed independent of land use? What are indicators supposed to do? Some people think this will go nowhere?
Is there another precedent for what we are doing?--yes The national economic accounts
Is there another precedent for what we are doing--continued Presidents Hoover and then Roosevelt struggled to combat the Great Depression of the 1930's Acceptance of John Maynard Keynes's The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, stimulates interest economic indicators. Need for comprehensive and integrated analyses of the impact of alternative policy actions on the entire economy.
Is there another president for what we are doing--continued Without measures of economic aggregates like GDP, policymakers would be adrift in a sea of unorganized data. The GDP and related data are like beacons that help policymakers steer the economy toward the key economic objectives. The greatest advance in governance of the 20 th century. I do not recall a single instance when the integrity of the estimates was called into question by informed observersGreenspan.
Forest and Range Management, is there a parallel? Of course there is! So, how much old growth is there? Are western salmon streams in bad shape? Birds are not as plentiful due to the decline of trees in the wooded draws. BLM rangelands remain in only fair or poor condition. Is it true Golden eagle numbers have fallen due to the deterioration of sage-bunchgrass habitats. Rriparian areas are in their worst condition ever. Rural parts of the Plains faced with depopulation. Taken from High Country News
How will it all work? Public interest drives the use of indicators. Labor unions drive consideration for unemployment. Business drives consideration for interest rates. Government is interested in stability.
What should the future be? USA Today uses the indictors generated by the range management community of interests. The source and accuracy of data for such indicators is unquestioned. The range indicators generate a productive public dialogue regarding the success of western management strategies or what to do about observed problems.