About Regional Forest Agreements
RFAs are 20-year plans for the conservation and sustainable management of Australia's native forests. There are 10 RFAs in four States: Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales.
The agreements provide certainty for forest-based industries, forest-dependent communities and conservation. They are the results of years of scientific study, consultation and negotiation covering a diverse range of interests.
The foundation of the agreements is a series of Comprehensive Regional Assessments (CRAs) of the social, economic, environmental and cultural and natural heritage values of each region's native forests. The CRAs provide more detailed information than ever before about our native forests.
An essential element of the RFA process was widespread consultation to obtain the views of as many people as possible with an interest or stake in Australia's native forests.
An important result of the negotiations was a world-class Comprehensive Adequate and Representative (CAR) reserve system protecting the environmental and heritage values of forests through national parks and other conservation reserves.
In addition, the RFAs provided for complementary ecologically sustainable forest management (ESFM) outside CAR reserves. In addition, the RFAs provided for ESFM on public native forests available for harvesting of wood and non-wood products which are outside the CAR reserve system.
The RFAs provide for secure access to forest resources, making possible continued development of internationally competitive and ecologically sustainable industries. They also identify industry development opportunities.