Significant progress has already been made.
Since the program commenced on 1 July 2018, we have:
- Hosted Round Tables with representatives of the Timber Industry, Environmental Groups, Scientific Community, Local Government and Commercial and Recreational User Groups to better understand the range of perspectives on how Victoria’s forests should be managed into the future. Summary reports written by Round Table participants highlighting key points of discussion can be found here:
- Progressed roundtable discussions with Traditional Owners about how we will work together to modernise Victoria’s RFAs and forest management approach. This will ensure that the process and outcomes acknowledge and respect Traditional Owner rights, knowledge and aspirations.
- Developed a comprehensive and inclusive plan to involve Victorian communities and key stakeholders in the renewal of the RFA’s and shaping our future approach to forest management.
- Undertaken a stocktake of the accuracy, condition, currency and suitability of data and information relating to forest values (including environmental, indigenous, social, economic and ecosystem service values), and begun to identify the priority gaps to be addressed.
- Initiated conversations with research institutes to develop methodologies to fill priority data and information gaps.
- Begun a review of existing forest management plans and related reports and recommendations to inform the development of a new strategic planning framework for forest management in Victoria.
Over the coming months, we will:
- Meet with Traditional Owners on Country and agree how we support Traditional Owners to capture data and information about indigenous cultural heritage values, including both historical and present ‘living’ values.
- Establish a Scientific Advisory Panel to provide independent advice and validation of our methodologies for collecting and analysing data on a wide range of forest values, including contemporary modelling approaches that consider the projected impacts of climate change on forest values.
- Commence a state-wide program of community engagement, initially via our online Engage Vic platform.
- Commence a state-wide program of data collection to inform renewal of the RFAs and improved management of Victoria’s forests.
- Commence development of a state-wide planning framework that will help guide regional land and fire managers, in partnership with Traditional Owners, to develop best practice integrated, landscape-scale plans for the management of our forests that are informed by community’s views.