On 7 November 2019, the Victorian Government announced Victoria’s Forestry Plan, which includes a commitment to immediately end harvesting of old growth forest. The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, asked the Conservation Regulator to independently monitor and publicly report on implementation of the policy.
To achieve this, we developed a draft procedure for the field identification of old growth forest. Feedback on the draft was gathered through an online survey and submissions. Technical advice was also received from contractors (working with the Forest Protection Survey Program) and a Scientific Advisory Panel to provide an independent review, with further in-field testing.
Feedback on the draft procedure
Following feedback, we made changes to the draft and completed in-field testing. We separated the draft procedure into 2 documents, an assessment tool and a regulatory guide.
Feedback received on the draft procedure has been summarised into the report below:
The Old growth forest identification assessment tool outlines a step-by-step procedure that must be followed to identify old growth forest, so that it can be protected. The assessment tool must be consistently applied prior to timber harvesting throughout the State of Victoria.
The regulatory guide provides information on our expectations for old growth forest protection. The guide sets out requirements to identify and protect old growth forest before timber harvesting is undertaken and describes how we will monitor and report on compliance.
Reviewed 26 April 2021