Department of the Environment

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Publications archive - Ecologically Sustainable Development


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Are We Sustaining Australia? Report Against Headline Sustainabilty Indicators

Environment Australia, 2002
ISBN 0 642 54771 8

Value 9: Management of Natural Resources: Forests

Rationale for inclusion of issue

The sustainable management of forest resources is important to economic well-being, and can contribute to the protection of biodiversity and ecological systems. The aesthetic, heritage and cultural values associated with forests also have immediate importance for individual and community well-being.

Indicator 11

Total area of all forest type at 1998

157 million hectares

Source: State of the Forests Report, 1998

Rationale for selection of indicator

This indicator measures the current level of forest cover, demonstrating whether the overall area and types of forest are increasing or decreasing.

The effect of land clearing/deforestation is incorporated in this indicator because area will reflect losses along with the offsetting effects of regeneration/replanting.

Explanatory and elaborative information

Australia has 157 million hectares of forest representing 20 per cent of the continent, of which 155,835,000 hectares are native forest (SOFR 1998) and 1,377,000 hectares are plantation forest (National Forest Inventory 2000) on both public and private tenure, according to the most recent published figures.

Supplementary indicator