The Common Report Card for 2012 consists of 20 indicators related to topics concerning forest management. Data collection for the 2012 report began in April 2012. The process started out with monitoring of the websites of a group of selected public sector institutions related to the forest sector. This year 20 institutions were monitored, seven more than last year. The increase in the number of institutions is due to a new, more detailed mapping of the institutions whose actions have a repercussion on, or are directly linked to, the forest sector. Among the institutions included are the Ministry for Coordination of the Strategic Sectors and the Secretariat for Peoples, Social Movements and Citizen Participation.
To complement the research and generate a more holistic report, an attempt was made to include opinions from public officials whose expertise provided a greater insight into the forest sector in Ecuador. They were interviewed principally from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, and from the Under-Secretariats of Lands and Forest Production. Unfortunately, when this report was drawn up, it had still not been possible to hold meetings with public officials from the Ministry of Environment, the Coordinating Ministry for Heritage, or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Forest experts and civil society organisations were shown the report card in order to compile comments which may help to give deeper understanding of how the sector works.
The search for information in the aforementioned institutions is based on Article 91 of the current Constitution from 2008 and particularly on the Organic Law for Transparency and Access to Public Information (LOTAIP) from 2004.
On the basis of the LOTAIP criteria, the search was focussed on analysing the information available on the institutions’ websites using their individual search engines. These first results were strengthened with searches through specific search engines (Lexis legal regulation search engine - a system of legal information which employs an IT platform. This system is not free access, as use requires payment of a licence). This allowed access in particular to forest regulations and decrees which were not published on the websites.