The Victorian Government represents its commitment to the process and principles of sustainable forest management through the delivery of the State of the Forests report every five years. This reporting is a requirement under the Sustainable Forests (Timber) Act 2004 and outlines the Government’s progress in upholding the Sustainability Charter for Victoria’s State Forests, as well as its performance in managing over 6 million hectares of forest on public land.
In 2018, the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability (the Commissioner) was designated to produce Victoria’s fourth State of the Forests Report (the Report) in conjunction with the Secretary of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The Report was submitted to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change in early 2019.
The Report provides an indication of the health of Victoria’s forests, based on the analysis of the seven criteria and 45 indicators of the Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management, covering both biophysical and socio-economic factors. These are based on the Montreal Process, a voluntary agreement between 12 nations for the conservation and sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests.
The Report has four recommendations, two of which are replicated in the State of the Environment 2018 Report. A third recommendation is specific to forests but is derived from a recommendation in the State of the Environment 2018 Report. The Government’s formal response to the four recommendations is presented within this document.