Alpine National Park


Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006

The Aboriginal Heritage Act is a legal framework for managing and protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Acidic soil

Soil acidity is a condition where soil pH is below a neutral level. It can be a potentially serious land degradation issue. Soil acidification is a natural process, but it can be increased by some agricultural practices.

You can learn more about soil acidity and its causes on the Agriculture Victoria website


The Australian Climate Observations Reference Network—Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) is the dataset used by the Bureau of Meteorology to monitor long-term temperature trends in Australia. It uses observations from 112 weather stations in all corners of Australia, selected for the quality and length of their available temperature data.

You can learn more about the ACORN-SAT on the Bureau of Meteorology website.

Action statement

An action statement is a legally required step in the process of adding an item to the Threatened List. It sets out what has been done in the past and identifies potential future actions intended to conserve and manage a species, community, or Potentially Threatening Processes (PTP).

You can learn more about action statements on the Victorian Environment website.


Shifts in response to environmental change that support survival, for example, shifts in behaviour, physiology, and management practices. Adaptation can also include responses that decrease the negative effects of change and capitalise on opportunities.

Adaptation Action Plans (AAPs)

The Victorian Government has prepared Adaptation Action Plans (AAPs) for 7 systems – these outline the risks climate change poses and the targeted response and actions needed for the next 5 years. They will help build the state’s capacity to cope with the impacts of a changing climate. The plans reflect learnings from adaptation efforts to date and have been informed by organisations and experts as well as the public through consultation during mid-2021.

You can learn more about the Adaptation Action Plans on the Climate Change Victoria website.


A baseline is a standard by which things are measured and compared against. A baseline can be used to see changes over time.


Biodiversity is the variety of all life forms on earth - the different plants, animals and micro-organisms and the ecosystems in which these life forms are a part of.

Biodiversity 2037

In April 2017, the Victorian Government released Protecting Victoria’s Environment: Biodiversity 2037. This plan, often referred to as simply Biodiversity 2037, aims to stop the decline of the state’s native plants and animals and improve our natural environment.

You can learn more about Biodiversity 2037 on the Environment Victoria website.

Bulk entitlements

A bulk entitlement is a legal right to take and use water granted under the Water Act 1989.

You can learn more about water entitlements on the Water Victoria website.

Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is Australia's national weather, climate and water agency.

You can learn more about the BoM on their website.

Carbon sequestration

Carbon sequestration are processes to remove carbon from the atmosphere with the aim of reducing climate change. It involves capturing carbon and storing it in vegetation, soil, oceans or another storage facility.

You can learn more about soil carbon sequestration on the CSIRO website.

Carryover water

Carryover water is the unused water allocation from a water entitlement which can be used in a subsequent year. Some rules exist to guide when the unused allocation of an entitlement can and can’t be used as carryover water.

You can learn more about water entitlements on the Water Victoria website.


A catchment is an area of land within which rainfall will contribute to run-off at a particular point. The catchment for a major river and its tributaries is usually referred to as a river basin.

Catchment Management Authority (CMA)

Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) are responsible for the land, water, and biodiversity management in their respective catchment regions. Victoria is divided into 10 catchment and land protection regions.

You can learn more about Catchment Management Authorities on the Vic Catchments website.

Circular economy

A circular economy is a more sustainable approach to how products are made and what happens to them once they are consumed. Because products are designed to last longer and can easily be recycled or remanufactured into new products once they reach their end of life, less waste and pollution are generated, and less pressure is placed on the environment.

You can learn more about transitioning to a circular economy on the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water website.

Citizen science

Public participation and collaboration in scientific research with the aim of increasing scientific knowledge.

Climate change

Climate change is the long-term shift in temperature and weather patterns occurring across the globe. Although climate is known to fluctuate naturally, human activity is causing temperatures to rise higher and faster than ever before. Rising sea levels, melting polar ice, and the increasing frequency and intensity of droughts, water scarcity, fires, floods and catastrophic storms are other consequences of a changing climate.

Climate Change Act 2017 (CC Act 2017)

The Victorian Climate Change Act 2017 provides the legislative foundation to manage climate change and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

You can learn more about the CC Act 2017 on the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action website.

Coastal inundation

Coastal inundation is a natural process where sea water rises high enough that it causes temporary or even permanent flooding along the coast. Coastal sea levels under 'normal' conditions are remarkably predictable. Even under these normal conditions, coastal inundation can occur. However, certain weather and climate patterns can change these conditions in ways that increase the likelihood of coastal inundation.

You can learn more about coastal inundation on this explainer page from the Bureau of Meteorology.


The establishment of a colony or settlements in a country or area. In Australia, colonisation began with the First Fleet's arrival from Britain in 1788 and progressed over time with settlements in different states.

The process of colonisation in Australia involved taking land from Indigenous people as well as forcibly taking Indigenous people away from their traditional lands.

You can learn more about the impact of colonisation on Aboriginal people on the Victorian Public Sector Commission website.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

The CSIRO is Australia’s national science agency. They work with industry, government, and the research community.

You can learn more about the CSIRO and their work on their website.


Confidence is a measure of certainty in the status and trend assessments of SoE indicators. The quality and quantity of available data, as well as knowledge gaps and level of consensus among experts, determine the degree of certainty in assessment results. Confidence is ranked as high when there’s an adequate amount of high-quality evidence and scientific agreement but ranked low when the assessment is based on only limited data.

Contamination (land/groundwater)

Land and groundwater contamination happens when hazardous or potentially hazardous substances that are not safely used, stored, or disposed of enter the environment. Contamination is an inevitable consequence of industrialisation and waste generation. Victoria has been working to manage the issue for decades by establishing and improving regulatory controls and cleaning up contaminated sites.

You can learn more about how Victoria is cleaning up contamination at the Victoria Unearthed website.


(Indigenous); the Indigenous concept of everything within a cultural landscape, including the land or sea itself; the plants and animals within it; the history, culture and traditions associated with it; and the connections between people and the landscape. Country is a distinct geographic, cultural and ecological space that is common to a specific Indigenous people, group of peoples or local community. Tenure is held collectively – either legally or non-legally – and resource definition and use, as well as cultural practice, is governed within a common property context.


CO2-e is the shortened form for ‘carbon dioxide equivalent’. This measure combines the global warming effect of the 7 greenhouse gases listed in Annex A of the Kyoto Protocol into a single meaningful number. Specifically, it represents the carbon dioxide emissions that would cause the same heating of the atmosphere as a particular mass of Annex A greenhouse gases.

The specific gases are:

  • carbon dioxide (CO2) 
  • methane (CH4) 
  • nitrous oxide (N2O) 
  • hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) 
  • perfluorocarbons (PFCs) 
  • sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) 
  • nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) 
Cultural burning

(Indigenous); Cultural fire is fire deliberately put into the landscape authorised and lead by the Traditional Owners of that Country for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to, ceremony, protection of cultural and natural assets, fuel reduction, regeneration and management of food, fibre and medicines, flora regeneration, fauna habitat protection and healing Country’s spirit.

You can find more information on the Cultural Burning website.

Cultural heritage

(Indigenous); Aboriginal Cultural Heritage refers to the knowledge and lore, practices and people, objects and places that are valued, culturally meaningful and connected to identity and Country.

You can learn more about Aboriginal Cultural Heritage on the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council website.

Cultural landscape

(Indigenous); landscapes that contain interrelated natural and cultural elements of heritage.


(Indigenous); the accepted ways of knowing and behaving, and a set of common understandings shared by members of a group or community. Includes land, language, ways of living, and working artistic expression, relationships and identity.


The Victorian Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action. The department was previously known by the acronym DELWP - it became DEECA on 1 Jan 2023. 

You can learn more about DEECA on their website

Degradation (habitat)

Habitat degradation is the decline in condition of a habitat making it less suitable for the native species which inhabits it. Habitat quality deteriorates from such forces as pollution, invasive species, and development.

Degradation (land)

The reduction or loss of the biological or economic productivity of cropland, or range, pasture, forest and woodlands resulting from a combination of pressures, including land use and management practices.


The Victorian Department of Land, Water and Planning, now DEECA.

Dryland salinity

Dryland salinity describes the accumulation of salt in soils and water in unirrigated landscapes above natural levels. This happens when deep-rooted plant species, like native trees, shrubs and pasture, are replaced with shallow-rooted cropping species. It contributes to land degradation.

You can learn more about dryland salinity on the Agriculture Victoria website.

Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVCs)

Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVC) are the standard unit for classifying native vegetation types in Victoria. This allows us to compare their current extent and quality against their condition before 1750. It’s a useful tool for biodiversity planning and management.

You can learn more about EVCs on the Environment Victoria website.


The word ‘ecosystem’ means ecological systems. An ecosystem is a network of living organisms (plants, animals, and microbes) and their physical environment that occur together and interact with one another in a given area.

Ecosystem resilience

Ecosystem resilience is an ecosystem’s ability to cope with both natural and human disturbances to maintain its critical functions over time. An ecosystem with low resilience has little capacity to resist, adapt or recover from changes.

El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle

l Niño and La Niña are two sides of a climate pattern that disrupts normal conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Scientists call it the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle.

The easiest way to understand El Niño and La Niña is by understanding the movement of warm water in the Pacific Ocean. The top layer of the tropical Pacific Ocean (about the first 200 metres) is warm, with water temperatures between 20C and 30C. Underneath, the ocean is colder and doesn’t move as much.

Winds over the tropical Pacific (called the trade winds) blow from east to west, piling the warm top layer water against the east coast of Australia and Indonesia. During normal conditions in the Pacific Ocean, the trade winds blow west along the equator. They take warm water from South America toward Asia. To replace that warm water, cold water comes up from the depths—a process called upwelling. Both El Niño and La Niña disrupt these conditions in different ways, with different results for Australia.

The difference is that in:

  • El Niño - the trade winds weaken, warm waters is pushed east towards the Americas taking rainfall with it and making Australia have more dry years on average 
  • La Niña - the trade winds strengthen, which brings more warm water to Australia and increases our rainfall totals 

You can learn more about the Southern Oscillation cycle on the Bureau of Meteorology website.


Emissions are outputs, usually of chemicals or particles, into the atmosphere. In this report, the term is mostly used in relation to greenhouse gas emissions.

Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria

The EPA Victoria is the state’s independent environmental regulator. They work to prevent and reduce the effect of pollution and waste on Victoria’s environment and people. They work with community, industry and businesses.

You can learn more about the EPA on their website.

Environment Reference Standard (ERS)

The Environment Reference Standard (ERS) is a new tool made under the Environment Protection Act 2017. It identifies environmental values that the Victorian community want to achieve and maintain. It provides a way to assess those environmental values in locations across Victoria.

You can learn more about the ERS on the EPA website.


Fauna refers to all the animal life present in a particular area or time. The corresponding term for plants is flora.


The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 is the key piece of Victorian legislation for the conservation of threatened species and communities and for the management of potentially threatening processes.

You can learn more about the FFG Act on the Environment Victoria website.


Flora refers to all the plant life present in a particular area or time. The corresponding term for animals is fauna.


A forest is an ecological system dominated by trees that’s at least 0.2 hectares in size. This includes Australia’s diverse native forests and plantations, regardless of age. It encompasses areas of trees that are sometimes described as woodlands.

Forest Fire Danger Index (FFDI)

The Forest Fire Danger Index measures the potential danger of a bushfire on a given day and location.

You can learn more about the FFDI on the CSIRO website.

Fossil fuels

Fossil fuels, sometimes called ‘non-renewable fuels’, are natural occurring compound mixtures of fossilised plant and animal remnants deep in the earth’s crust. Depending on the type of fossil fuel, they can be found between 60 metres and 5 kilometres underground. The type of fuel created by these remnants is determined by the type of fossil, the amount of heat, and the amount of pressure. Examples of fossil fuels include coal, crude oil, and gas.


Fragmentation refers to the isolation and reduction of areas of habitat and associated ecosystems and species. It often occurs due to land clearing and development.

Fuel Management

Fuel management is a strategy for reducing bushfire risk that focuses on reducing the levels of flammable materials that fire feeds on. This can include dry grasses, shrubs, dead wood, and leaf litter. Fuel management activities include planned burning (lighting and managing planned fires in the landscape at times of the year when bushfire risk is lower) and mechanical and chemical treatment (pruning, mowing, slashing, mulching and applying herbicides).


The Group of 20 (G20) is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union. It is a forum for international economic cooperation. Australia is a member of the G20.

You can learn more about the G20 on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.


Greenfield is an area that has not been developed, meaning there is no built infrastructure on the site.

Greenhouse gas

Greenhouse gases are gases that naturally occur in the earth’s atmosphere. They act like the glass walls of a greenhouse to trap heat, a process referred to as the greenhouse effect.

The main greenhouse gases are:

  • carbon dioxide (CO2) 
  • methane (CH4) 
  • nitrous oxide (N2O) 
  • short-lived tropospheric ozone (O3) 
  • water vapour 
  • chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) 
  • hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  • perfluorocarbons (PFCs) 
  • sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) 

Groundcover is the vegetation (living and dead), biological crusts, and stone that’s in contact with the soil surface. The amount and type of ground cover affects many soil processes including infiltration, runoff and surface erosion. Ground cover information is used by landholders, natural resource managers, and government to improve land management.


Groundwater is water beneath the earth's surface, in the pores and crevices of rocks and soil. The layers of soil and rock that contain useable quantities of groundwater are called aquifers. Aquifers lie beneath all parts of Victoria.

You can learn more about groundwater on the EPA website.


A habitat is the natural home or environment of a plant, animal, or other organism. A habitat provides the organisms that live there with the food, water, shelter, and space needed for their survival.


A hectare is a unit of measurement equal to 10,000 square meters or 2.471 acres.

High emissions pathway

A high emissions pathway is the predicted scenario if global emissions remain at current levels. It represents a future with little reduction of emissions.

Index of Stream Condition (ISC)

The Index of Stream Condition (ISC) provides a detailed overall picture of river and stream conditions in Victoria. Three ISC assessments have been completed in Victoria (1999, 2004, and 2010). The benchmarking process was undertaken using the first integrated measure of river condition, the Index of Stream Condition (ISC).

Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)

The IOD is a natural climate phenomenon that influences rainfall patterns around the Indian Ocean, including Australia. While changes in the Pacific Ocean can result in the El Niño Southern Oscillation Cycle, similarly, changes in the Indian Ocean can result in positive or negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). It’s brought about by the interactions between the currents along the sea surface and atmospheric circulation. A positive IOD can increase the chance of dry weather in Australia, while a negative IOD can increase the chances of heavy rainfall and flooding.

You can learn more about the IOD on the Bureau of Meteorology website.


In the context of this website, an indicator is a parameter whose measurement is used to describe and track the state of the environment. SoE indicators are the foundational tools for evaluating and communicating the impact our activities have on the environment and provide a comprehensive account of the condition of Victoria’s natural values. Each theme, or issue, has a set of indicators whose collective assessment provides insight into how well the Victoria Government and its policies and programs are performing in managing the issue.


Infill is developing/redeveloping land in an existing urban area.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing science related to climate change. The IPCC prepares comprehensive Assessment Reports about the state of scientific, technical, and socio-economic knowledge on climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for reducing the rate at which climate change is taking place. It also produces Special Reports on topics agreed to by its member governments, as well as Methodology Reports that provide guidelines for the preparation of greenhouse gas inventories.

You can learn more about the IPCC on their website.

International Energy Agency (IEA)

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an autonomous intergovernmental organisation that works with countries around the world to provide policy recommendations, analysis and data on the entire global energy sector.

You can learn more about the IEA on their website.

Invasive species

Non-native plants or animals introduced to a new environment outside of their natural geographic habitat due to human action. They can have adverse environmental or economic effects on the regions they invade; species that dominate a region due to loss of natural predators or controls.

Kilotonne (Kt)

A unit of mass equal to 1 thousand tonnes or 1 million kilograms.

Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement that commits industrialised nations to stabilising the level of greenhouse gas emissions; the agreement is linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

You can learn more about the Kyoto Protocol on the United Nations website.

Land cover

The observed physical and biological cover of Earth’s surface, including living vegetation such as native ecosystems and agricultural lands, and non-living surfaces such as rock and ice, and human-made environments. Land cover can be measured using on-ground techniques or through remote sensing.

Land cover classes

Victoria has 19 land cover classes. Land cover classes include native forests, bushland, wetlands, farmland, land used for recreation, and built-up areas, including towns and cities.

You can learn more about land cover classes on the Environment Victoria website.

Land management

The process of managing the use and development of land resources. The degree that areas of land and water are managed by humans may differ from intensively managed (e.g. built-up areas, cropland) to not managed (e.g. polar regions, oceans).

Land management practice

Land management practices refers to the methods used to oversee and work land. There are a large range of land management practices, depending on what type of land is being managed.

Land remediation

Remediation is the process of removing contamination so the site can be used again. Where a site has been contaminated, it’s important that management and/or remediation takes place appropriate to the use of the site.

You can learn more about land remediation on the Environment Victoria website.

Land tenure

The way land is held or owned by individuals and groups, or the set of relationships legally or customarily defined among people with respect to land. Tenure reflects relationships between people and land directly, and between individuals and groups of people in their dealings in land.

Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF)

The land use, land use change, and forestry (LULUCF) sector covers emissions resulting from activities affecting land use and vegetation cover, including land clearing and regeneration, forest management, and plantations on public and private land. The sector is both a source of emissions and a means of sequestering (removing) emissions from the atmosphere. When sequestration is greater than emissions, the sector operates as a ‘net sink’ for emissions – storing more carbon than it emits.

You can learn more about LULUCF on the Land use, land use change and forestry sector emissions reduction pledge PDF.

Linear economy

A linear economy follows the ‘take-make-dispose’ approach, where finite natural resources are continuously extracted to make new products that are then used and disposed of in landfill.

You can learn more about Victoria's move away from a linear economy on the Victorian Government website.

Long-Term Water Resource Assessment for Southern Victoria (LTWRA)

The Water Act 1989 requires a long-term water resource assessment (LTWRA) every 15 years to determine whether water availability has declined or if waterway health has deteriorated for reasons related to changes in flow.

You can learn more about LTWRA on the Water Victoria website.

Manufactured water

Manufactured water is water that has been recovered, for example desalinated water, fit-for-purpose recycled wastewater and treated stormwater.

Maximum Bushfire Risk

Maximum Bushfire Risk is calculated as the risk that would be present across the state using a model that assumes the worst conditions are realised, including maximum fuel buildup and extreme bushfire conditions.

You can learn more about Maximum Bushfire Risk on the Forest Fire Management Victoria website.

Megatonne (Mt)

A unit of mass equal to 1 million tonnes or 1 billion kilograms.

Millennium drought

The Millennium drought was the drought that occurred in southern Australia from 2000 to 2010 (although in some areas it began as early as 1997).

You can learn more about the Millennium drought on the Bureau of Meteorology website.


Mitigation are actions which aim to avoid or reduce the adverse impacts of a hazardous conditions or events, such as climate change or biodiversity decline.

Municipal solid waste (MSW)

Municipal solid waste is material collected from kerbside bins and council activities, such as street sweeping, litter collection, and street tree lopping, as well as household waste dropped off at transfer stations. The waste materials include garbage, recyclables and organics.

You can learn more about MSW on the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water website.

Murray-Darling Basin Authority

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority is the principal government agency in charge of managing the Murray–Darling Basin.

You can learn more about the Murray-Darling Basin Authority on their website.

National Landcare Program

The National Landcare Program is part of the Australian Government's commitment to natural resource management. The program contributes to addressing problems such as vegetation loss, soil degradation, and introduced pests, weeds, and animals.

You can learn more about the National Landcare Program on the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water website.

National Sword policy

China implemented its National Sword policy on 1 January 2018 that placed strict limits on the level of contamination it would accept in recovered materials. As China was the largest importer of recyclable materials globally, the policy led to a worldwide collapse in recyclable material prices.

Natural resource management

The management of natural resources such as land, water, soil, plants and animals, with a focus on sustainable practices.

Net zero emissions

Put simply, net zero means cutting greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible, with any remaining emissions re-absorbed from the atmosphere by oceans and forests, for instance.

You can learn more about net zero on the United Nations website.

Old growth forest

‘Old growth’ means forest that contains a significant number of older trees in the latter stages of their growth, with distinctive crowns, minimal regrowth, and little, if any, sign of disturbance.

You can learn more about old growth forests on the Engage Victoria website.

Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement was reached in 2015 between the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The central aim of the agreement is to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. And to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The pre-industrial period has been defined as 1850-1900.

You can learn more about the Paris Agreement on the United Nations website.

Particle pollutants (PM)

Particle pollution is also known as particulate matter or PM. It’s a term that describes extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets suspended in air. PM can be made up of a variety of components including nitrates, sulfates, organic chemicals, metals, soil or dust particles, and allergens (such as fragments of pollen or mould spores).

Per capita

Per capita means the amount per person.

Planned burn

A planned burn (also called controlled burn or prescribed burn) is the controlled use of fire under carefully managed conditions to reduce fuel such as dead wood, leaf litter, bark, and shrubs. It is different to backburning.

You can learn more about planned burns on the Forest Fire Management Victoria website.

Planned obsolescence

Planned obsolescence is when businesses deliberately design or make products, so they don’t last or become redundant. It results in rapid and continuous replacement of products and contributes to growing waste problems.

Pre-Industrial era

The pre-industrial era (or pre-industrial period) has been defined by the Paris Agreement as 1850-1900.

Primary production

Primary producers run a business of plant or animal cultivation, fishing, tree farming or felling.

You can learn more about primary producers on the Australian Taxation Office website.

Ramsar site

Ramsar sites (or Ramsar wetlands) are wetlands of international importance listed under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. There are 12 Ramsar sites in Victoria.

You can learn more about Ramsar sites on the Water Victoria website.

Regional Climate Change Adaptation Strategies (RASs)

Regional Climate Change Adaptation Strategies (RASs) are 5-year practical strategies to address the unique challenges and opportunities climate change brings to Victoria’s regions and guide locally relevant practical action. They support collaboration within regional communities to strengthen resilience to climate change by building adaptive capacity and delivering place-based, locally relevant adaptation action.

You can learn more about the RASs on the Climate Change Victoria website.


Related to riverbanks, creeks, estuaries, wetlands or lake shores.


Runoff is the movement of water from the land into aquatic environments.


Salinisation is the process of becoming more salty through the accumulation of soluble salts (e.g. sodium chloride) in soil or water. Many Australian soils and landscapes contain naturally high levels of sodium salts held deep in the soil profile.


(Indigenous); when Indigenous people determine their affairs themselves, including decision-making, interacting with non-Indigenous parties and creating the solution to a problem.

You can learn more about self-determination on the Australian Human Rights Commission website.


The State of the Environment is a report released by the Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability (CES) on a 5-yearly basis.

You can learn more about the CES on our website.

Soil erosion

Soil erosion refers to the removal of the top layer of dirt known as topsoil. The loss of topsoil to wind, rain, and other forces is a natural process, but when intensified by human activity, it can have negative environmental, societal, and economic impacts.


A species is a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring.

Sustainable forest management

Sustainable forest management is the management of forests in a way that balances the needs of the environment, wildlife, and communities to maintain their full range of ecological, social and economic values.

Threatened (species or community)

Likely to become endangered in the near future.

Timber Release Plan (TRP)

The Timber Release Plan shows areas where VicForests may conduct operations in state forests, including timber harvesting. These areas are divided into sections of the forest called coupes. The TRP is regularly reviewed and changed which involves coupes being added, removed or amended.

You can learn more about the Timber Release Plan on the Vic Forests website.

Time-series data

Time-series data is data with more than a single year of information. It can provide valuable insights into how environmental parameters, like land cover, changes over time.

Tolerable Fire Interval (TFI)

Tolerable Fire Intervals are the ideal period of time between fires for vegetation communities to mature and regenerate. TFIs help determine the frequency, severity and intensity of planned burning so it supports ecological sustainability.

Traditional Owner

(Indigenous); an Indigenous owner of their Traditional Country, as determined through the purchase of freehold, as granted by government or as determined through the native title process.

Traditional Owner organisation

Registered Aboriginal Parties is a status provided under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 to Traditional Owner organisations that hold decision-making powers under the Act for the protection and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage within a specified geographic area.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was first proposed in 1992. Today, it has been approved by 198 countries.

It bound member states to act in the interests of human safety, even in the face of scientific uncertainty. The ultimate objective of the Convention is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations

"at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human-induced) interference with the climate system.”

The Convention is a precursor to the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and the Paris Agreement in 2015.

You can learn more about the Framework Convention on the United Nations website.

Urban greening

Urban greening is about increasing the amount of green infrastructure in urban areas to combat the urban heat island. For example, plants can help cool cities through water that evaporates from their leaves, and by shading surfaces that otherwise might have absorbed heat, such as concrete. Some urban greening initiatives involve banning or restricting vehicle use.

Urban heat island

Urban heat islands are the phenomenon in which urban areas are typically warmer than surrounding rural areas, particularly at night. Infrastructure such as buildings, roads, and other structures absorb and re-emit the heat of the sun more than natural landscapes such as forests and water.

Victorian Climate Projections 2019 (VCP19)

The Victorian Government partnered with CSIRO’s Climate Science Centre to do new high-resolution climate modelling and incorporate these into an updated set of climate projections for Victoria, resulting in the Victorian Climate Projections 2019. The project developed a comprehensive set of 5 km datasets for use in impact/risk assessment.

You can learn more about VCP19 on the Climate Change in Australia website.

Victorian Climate Science Report 2019

The Victorian Climate Science Report 2019 provides a summary of the best available scientific evidence on climate in Victoria. The report builds on the knowledge gained from the Victorian Government’s ongoing investment in climate science, such as the Victorian Climate Projections 2019 and the Victorian Water and Climate Initiative, as well as research from our leading academic institutions.

You can read the Victorian Climate Science Report 2019 on the Climate Change Victoria website.

Victorian Conservation Regulator

The Victorian Conservation Regulator oversees the regulation of wildlife, forests, and public land in Victoria.

You can learn more about the Victorian Conversation Regulator on their page on the Vic Gov website.

Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC)

The role of the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council is to conduct investigations, assessments and provide advice as requested by the Victorian Government relating to the protection and ecologically sustainable management of the environment and natural resources of public land.

You can learn more about VEAC on their website.

Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH)

The Victorian Environmental Water Holder is an independent statutory body responsible for holding and managing Victoria's environmental water entitlements.

You can learn more about VEWH on their website.

Victorian Forestry Plan (VFP)

The Victorian Government developed the Victorian Forestry Plan to assist the forestry industry as it manages its gradual transition away from native forest.

You can learn more about the VFP on the DEECA website.

Victorian Water Corporations

Victoria has 18 water corporations. They provide a range of services to customers and communities across the state.

You can learn more about water corporations on the Water Victoria website.

Vulnerable (species or community)

At high risk of extinction in the wild; likely to become endangered unless the circumstances threatening its survival and reproduction improve.

Water entitlements

A water entitlement defines the maximum amount of water that can be allocated each year. A water ‘allocation’ is the amount of water given to an entitlement holder each year by the relevant resource manager. An environmental water entitlement is a legal right to a share of water managed to benefit the environment at a location.

Water for Victoria

Water for Victoria is the state’s plan for a future with less water. It comprises 69 actions designed to support a healthy environment and economy and thriving communities.

You can learn more about Water for Victoria on the Water Victoria website.

Water Measurement Information System

The Water Measurement Information System is the primary access point to search, discover and download surface water and groundwater monitoring data in real time.

You can learn more about the Water Measurement Information System on the Water Monitoring website.

Water table

The level below which the ground is saturated with water. It is the division between the subsurface region in which the pores of soil and rocks are effectively filled only with water, and the subsurface region in which the pores are filled with air and usually some water.


Wetlands are areas of land where the soil is saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally. They hold still or very slow-moving water. Wetlands develop, or have the potential to develop, life that’s adapted to inundation and the aquatic environment. Wetlands may be formed by natural processes or human activities. Wetlands can include:  

  • Inland wetlands: marshes, peatlands ponds, lakes, rivers, floodplains, swamps, and fens 
  • Coastal wetlands: saltwater marshes, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons, and coral reefs 
  • Human-made wetlands: fishponds, reservoirs, saltpans 

You can learn more about wetlands on the Water Victoria website.