Australia’s forests are diverse, extensive, and highly regarded for their ecological, economic and social values. They provide a range of benefits including wood and non-wood forest products and ecosystem services. The range of services covers water protection and supply, soil protection, carbon storage and sequestration, habitat for flora and fauna species, tourism and recreation, and cultural values for both non-Indigenous and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Australia’s State of the Forests Report 2018 presents a comprehensive national synthesis of information describing Australia’s forests. The information is presented systematically against sustainable forest management criteria and indicators that are based on the framework of the international Montreal Process Working Group. This framework provides a common basis to describe, monitor, assess and report on forests, and to assess performance against the principles of sustainable forest management.

The fifth report in the series, Australia’s State of the Forests Report 2018 enables an efficient connection between state, national and international reporting processes. The report is driven through national processes such as reporting requirements for regional forest agreements and Australia’s national forest policy. In turn, it provides data directly to international processes including the Global Forest Resources Assessment led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the Global Forest Goals of the United Nations Forum on Forests.

The completion of this report represents a substantial effort from two national committees comprising representatives from state and territory forest management and policy agencies, and Commonwealth government agencies. Essential input has also come from academia, research organisations and industry bodies. Production of the report was undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences in the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Australia’s State of the Forests Report 2018 is an essential resource for all who work in, manage or value Australia’s forests. The report provides data, information and sufficient narrative context to let the reader explore the implications for sustainable forest management of changes in the social, environmental and economic aspects of Australia’s forests.

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