Australia’s Indigenous land and forest estate: separate reporting of estate categories

Publication date: 03 December 2020.

This ABARES technical report presents a schema to allow for separate reporting of each of Indigenous ownership of land or forest, Indigenous management or co-management of land or forest, and land or forest over which Indigenous peoples and communities have other special rights.

The report disentangles the four categories of Dillon et al. (2015) that were previously used by Australia’s National Forest Inventory for reporting the Indigenous estate in Australia’s State of the Forests Report 2013 and Australia’s State of the Forests Report 2018. Those four categories combined in various ways the individual attributes of the Indigenous estate, with an area of land or forest being allocated to only one of the four categories, and did not allow separate reporting on Indigenous ownership, management or co-management, or other special rights.

This work has now created separate spatial coverages for each of the attributes of Indigenous ownership, management or co-management, and other special rights, and can henceforth form the basis for reporting on the relationships between Indigenous peoples and land or forest.

The Commonwealth, state and territory agency datasets underpinning these Indigenous estate categories are not derived from state and territory land title registers, and so the Indigenous estate dataset prepared by ABARES does not describe the formal tenure of land, and is independent of the Tenure of Australia’s forests (2018) spatial dataset.

Download the report

Australia’s Indigenous land and forest estate: separate reporting of Indigenous ownership, management and other special rights – N9AAAAAASUVORK5CYII=PDF [3.9 MB], aeXV7Fdi2Vf7BvWefWf9LQ2w9a8t2b8HXwdWhMexuSnief1aCKhOmox7emzzGh876E1y59RjxeDPefvjBWy5tujSvpXyqbDkB9SqXYCJ12p9APRDP+l+Av+igUR4yQCvWAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC Accessible MSWord [6.6 MB]

Download the spatial data

The spatial dataset and metadata documentation of the Australia’s Indigenous forest estate (2020) dataset can be downloaded from the Australia’s Indigenous forest estate (2020) spatial data page.

Download the data tables

Selected data tables (Tables 5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16) from the report are available in Microsoft Excel –  [80 KB].

Download the maps

All of the maps from the report are available here for download:

  1. Area of land and forest that is Indigenous owned – PNG [0.6 MB]
  2. Area of land and forest that is Indigenous managed or Indigenous co-managed – PNG [0.6 MB]
  3. Area of land and forest that is covered by other special rights for Indigenous peoples and communities – PNG [0.6 MB]
  4. Total area of land and forest that is in the Indigenous estate – PNG [0.7 MB]
  5. Area of land that is in the Indigenous estate, by separate Indigenous estate attributes – PNG [0.4 MB]
  6. Area of forest that is in the Indigenous estate, by separate Indigenous estate attributes – PNG [0.7 MB]
Last reviewed: 26 February 2021