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Forests

​​​​​​​​​​​​​ABARES research and analysis in forest economics and sciences provides professionally independent, world-class advice to inform government and private sector decision-makers on significant issues affecting forests and the forestry sector. The ABARES forest research capabilities (below) give more information. To enable this research and analysis,​ ABARES develops and maintains key national databases on forests and the forestry sector, including Australia’s National Forest Inventory.

Outcomes of ABARES forest research and analysis are published on the Forests Australia website and the ABARES website.

Key products

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Australia’s State of the Forests Report

Australia’s State of the Forests Report – five-yearly comprehensive national reports on the status of Australia's forests, produced by ABARES through the collaboration of all state, territory, and Australian governments.​

Australian Forest and Wood Products Statistics

Australian Forest and Wood Products Statistics – biannual reports containing comprehensive datasets relating to Australia's forestry sector, including time series of data on forest and wood products resources, production, consumption, trade and employment

Australia's forests at a glance

Australia's forests at a glance – annual pocket-books of updated data and information about Australia's native forests and industrial plantations

Australia's Forestry Industry 2017

Australia’s Forestry Industry 2017 map provides a detailed snapshot of the forest industry, including the location of major wood processing facilities, native forest tenure, hardwood and softwood plantations, as well as roads and forestry ports.

Australia’s plantation statistics

Australia’s plantation statistics – annual tabular plantations updates and five-yearly comprehensive reports based on spatial data

Australia's plantation log supply

Australia's plantation log supply – five-yearly comprehensive plantation sawlog and pulplog supply forecasts from softwood and hardwood plantations

Australian forest profiles

Australian forest profiles – a collection of eight fact sheets comprising an overview profile of Australia's forests and profiles of the seven main native forest types

Research

Future opportunities for using forest and sawmill residues in Australia

This report presents estimates of the potential production and use of harvest and sawmill residues in Australia in 2050. It provides insights into what the production and use of wood residues may look like in decades to come, once any required investment in infrastructure has taken place.

Published: 6 November 2018.

Compendium of five ABARES briefing notes relevant to Leadbeater’s possum

This compendium brings together for publication five briefing notes written by ABARES over the period 2013 to 2017. The briefing notes are critical analyses of the justification that was given for relisting of Leadbeater’s possum as Critically Endangered under the EPBC Act, of the conservation management requirements of the species, of the draft Recovery Plan for the species, and of the related issue of fire and forest harvesting.

Leadbeater’s possum is a threatened species essentially restricted to ash and snowgum forests in the Central Highlands of Victoria that are also used for wood production. It has specific habitat requirements that include both large, hollow-bearing trees and a dense mid-storey layer in the forest, so has a complex relationship with the forest fire regime and forest management.

Published: 14 June 2018.​

Australia's plantation log supply 2015-2059

This report presents forecasts of sawlog and pulplog volumes available from softwood and hardwood plantations. Changes in log availability have important implications for Australia's rural economies; the size, type and geographical location of wood and paper product manufacturing industries; the national supply of wood products; Australia's trade balance; and Australia's export income.
Forecasts are presented for softwood and hardwood sawlog and pulplog volumes by National Plantation Inventory region, based on the combination of forecasts supplied by plantation owners and managers through a survey, and ABARES modelled forecasts. For the modelled forecasts, ABARES did not account for any future changes in social, economic or environmental parameters.

Published: 15 December 2016.

Climatic suitability of Australia's production forests for myrtle rust

Myrtle rust disease has caused defoliation and death of trees of rainforest species in New South Wales and Queensland, and has also been responsible for significant damage to eucalypt plantations in South America. This report combines climatic suitability modelling for myrtle rust across Australia with spatial data on Australia's production forests and forecast wood availability.

The results show that 9.1 per cent of Australia's forecast available volume of plantation eucalypt logs, and 22 per cent of Australia's forecast available volume of public native forest eucalypt logs, derive from areas predicted to be highly suitable climatically for myrtle rust. The report also discusses the differences between an area being highly suitable climatically for myrtle rust, and a potential impact on wood production.

Published: 10 August 2016.

Development of the Australia's Indigenous forest estate (2013) dataset

This dataset is a significant advance in describing Indigenous ownership and use of forest land, and involvement in natural resource management. The dataset is the first national description of the forest areas over which Indigenous people have ownership, management or special rights. It includes a greater diversity of land than captured previously under simpler definitions of Indigenous land, as it also includes lands owned by non-Indigenous parties where legislated arrangements are in place that enable the Indigenous community to access, manage, jointly manage, or be consulted on management of land.

Published: 28 August 2015.

Forests data

ABARES forest research capabilities

ABARES capabilities cover spatial analysis of forest data; economic surveys, analyses, modelling and forecasting; forest ecology, silvicultural systems, and sustainable yield; and national and international reporting based on criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management. ABARES also contributes data, performs analysis and provides advice on Regional Forest Agreements, threatened species, illegal logging, and national, regional and state-based forest issues.

ABARES manages Australia’s National Forest Inventory (NFI), which was established in 1988 to enable the calculation of nationally consistent and comprehensive attributes describing Australia’s forests. The NFI is the key repository for a range of data about Australia’s forests, with data supplied by state, territory and Australian government agencies integrated into national classifications by ABARES. Data in the NFI is used for publicly communicating information about Australia's forests, including in the Australia’s State of the Forests Report series.

ABARES also manages the National Plantation Inventory (NPI), a component of the NFI which has been collecting data on plantations established primarily for wood production in Australia since 1993. NPI data on Australia’s plantations are collected by ABARES through an annual survey of growers, grower representatives and state and territory agencies.

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Last reviewed:
14 Nov 2018