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Indicator 7.58: Scope, frequency, and reliability of forest inventories and related information

An indicator for Criterion 7: Legal, Institutional, and Economic Framework for Forest Conservation and Sustainable Management

What is the indicator and why is it important?

Public discussion and decisions related to natural resource sustainability issues should be based on comprehensive, current, and sound data. Information regarding the frequency, coverage, and reliability of data provides analysts with critical information for evaluating and prioritizing sustainability needs.

What does the indicator show?

Data for the 64 indicators range from full current coverage to one-time studies, to very anecdotal information. By looking at a cross section of the information in three broad categories, a brief overview of the situation for each criterion can be seen.

Although some indicators have a full suite of current data, that are national in scope, and collected frequently, many do not. In some cases, this is the result of a lack of systematic data collection, in others, the indicator in question may not be amenable to a concise, quantified presentation, and systematic data collection activities would likely not be possible even if sufficient resources were available. Often, in these cases, proxy data have been used to provide some information to address the indicator. Certain proxy data series may have excellent characteristics (e.g., high reporting frequency and national consistency), but their applicability in measuring the underlying indicator will vary depending on the indicator in question.

The current status of data for each indicator is summarized in the table below along with its status as recorded in the 2003 report (table 58-1). The rankings are based on the judgment of each indicator’s lead investigator and the project analysis team as a whole. They are currently provisional. The rankings may assume different meanings depending on the indicator in question. In particular, the appropriateness of proxy data is not fully reflected in the stoplight categorizations presented in the following table.

Table 58-1: Data adequacy measures for all indicators (1 of 4)

Table 58-2: Data adequacy measures for all indicators (2 of 4)

Table 58-3: Data adequacy measures for all indicators (3 of 4)

Table 58-4: Data adequacy measures for all indicators (4 of 4)

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Criterion 7 Indicators