Australia’s State of the Forests Report 2018 (SOFR 2018) is the fifth in a series of national five-yearly reports on Australia’s forests, and covers a range of social, economic and environmental values. Previous national SOFR reports were published in 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013.
Australia’s forests are recognised and valued for their diverse ecosystems and unique biodiversity; for their cultural heritage; for their provision of goods and services such as wood, carbon sequestration and storage, and soil and water protection; and for their aesthetic values and recreational opportunities. At the same time, Australia’s forests are subject to a range of pressures, including extreme weather events, drought and climate change; invasive weeds, pests and diseases; changed fire regimes; clearing for urban development, mining, infrastructure or agriculture; and the legacy of previous land-management practices.
The sustainable management and conservation of Australia’s forests, whether on public or on private land, requires a sound understanding of their extent, type, use and management. SOFR 2018 provides comprehensive information from a wide range of sources that can contribute to a better understanding of the broad range of values relating to Australia’s forests and their current management.
The information presented in SOFR 2018 covers primarily the five-year period from 2011 to 2016, or otherwise using the best available data. The report is organised under a framework of seven criteria for sustainable forest management developed by the international-level Montreal Process Working Group on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests, and then under 44 separate indicators. This Executive Summary draws together data from the material presented under these 44 indicators into a number of key themes.
- Australia has 134 million hectares of forest, covering 17% of Australia’s land area
- Carbon stocks in Australia’s forests increased by 0.6%, to 21,949 million tonnes, during the period 2011–16.
- Australia’s forest area has increased progressively since 2008. The net increase in forest area over the period 2011 to 2016 was 3.9 million hectares
For the full report visit http://www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/forestsaustralia/sofr/sofr-2018
Montreal Process Implementation Group for Australia and National Forest Inventory Steering Committee, 2018, Australia’s State of the Forests Report 2018 – Executive Summary, ABARES, Canberra, December. CC BY 4.0.