The FAO/ITTO expert meeting on the harmonization of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management took place in Rome from 13-16 February 1995, to examine the potential for concurrence between various regional consultations on criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management. Participants included experts from countries and organizations involved in the ITTO, the Montreal and Helsinki Processes, the CIFOR initiative and a representative from WWF, as well as representatives of those regions and/or ecological zones that presently are not involved in any post-UNCED forest initiatives. Participants suggested identifying an appropriate forum to promote convergence of initiatives and comparability of criteria. They recommended that FAO, ITTO, UNEP, UNDP and IUCN be facilitators and that FAO, as task manager for forests in the Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development (IACSD), be the focal point for the forum. Participants agreed that the diversity of national methods and approaches to criteria and indicators means that "convergence, equivalence, correspondence and commonality" were more appropriate goals than consistent harmonization. They endorsed global criteria with indicators developed only for national or forest management unit levels. Participants emphasized the need to broaden participation in development of criteria and indicators to include forest-poor countries and countries that have not yet taken part in the regional initiatives, including a potential effort to develop indicators for desertification control or management and sustainable use of wildlife. For more information, contact Richard Lydiker, Director of FAO's Information Division, at +39-6-5225-3510.