We generally have a poor understanding of the prospects for biodiversity in human-modified landscapes, or the adequacy of existing management standards to meet conservation goals.

Decisions about minimum practice standards for ecologically responsible forest management often rely more upon expert opinion and subjective judgement than a logical appraisal of empirical evidence through monitoring and evaluation.

The purpose of biodiversity monitoring is to provide a linchpin between ultimate management goals and the ongoing management process, the guiding hand by which conservation objectives can be translated into improved on-the-ground management standards.

For monitoring to make a meaningful contribution towards improving management three criteria need to be satisfied: (i) it must be purposeful with respect to clear goals and objectives; (ii) it must be effective with respect to a program's ability to deliver on stated objectives; (iii) it must be realistic with respect to its ability to operate within the context of real-world constraints.