An increase in our understanding of forest ecology and changes in community attitudes in recent years have improved forest management practices.
Today's focus is on managing forests to ensure they meet our present needs without affecting the options they can provide for future generations and, at the same time, maintain and protect other forest values. Management practices apply to public and private natural forest and to plantations.
Three principles guide today's concept of ecologically sustainable forest management. They are to:
- maintain the ecological process within forests
- preserve their biological diversity
- obtain for the community the full range of environmental, economic and social benefits from all forest uses within ecological limits.
All the RFAs include accreditation of systems for achieving ecologically sustainable forest management. An Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management Report was produced for each RFA as well as for South East Queensland. However an RFA was not signed in Queensland which has a state-based forest agreement.