The Forest Practices Authority

A summary of the approach to the conservation of biodiversity in areas covered by the Tasmanian forest practices system

Tasmania's forests are highly valued for their unique biodiversity, and Tasmania has a complex legislative and policy framework that delivers a variety of mechanisms to conserve this biodiversity. The mechanisms include the establishment of an extensive reserve network and complementary management actions for biodiversity outside of reserves.

The Tasmanian forest practices system contributes to the conservation of biodiversity in areas outside of reserves by delivering management actions for activities covered by the Tasmanian Forest Practices Act 1985. The primary objective for biodiversity conservation in areas covered by the forest practices system is:
To maintain biodiversity values, across multiple spatial and temporal scales, through sustainable forest management. (Biodiversity Expert Review Panel report)

The FPA biodiversity program works towards this objective by following an adaptive management framework and undertaking the following key tasks: 

  • conducting research
  • developing planning processes and planning tools
  • training industry personnel
  • providing advice on proposed harvest operations
  • monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of management strategies.

Planning processes and planning tools

In order to achieve the biodiversity objective of the forest practices system, a number of planning processes and planning tools developed by the FPA (and others) deliver a range of management strategies. Some of the key management strategies designed to help maintain biodiversity include:

The main policy instrument that addresses the management of biodiversity in areas covered by the forest practices system is the Forest Practices Code. The code provides some specific prescriptions that will help maintain biodiversity (e.g. streamside reserves) and is legally enforceable under the Forest Practices Act 1985.

In addition to the code, other management strategies and planning processes and planning tools are developed and delivered by the FPA biodiversity program to help forest planners in the identification of biodiversity values and issues, and to help with decisions on actions required. The range of planning tools available on the FPA's website include:

  • biodiversity evaluation flow diagram
  • biodiversity evaluation sheet
  • Forest Botany Manual
  • Plant identification kit
  • Flowering times of Tasmanian orchids
  • Biodiversity Values Database
  • Habitat Context Assessment Tool
  • Threatened Fauna Adviser
  • fauna technical notes
  • flora technical notes
  • planning guideline 2008/1
  • threatened native vegetation community information sheets
  • Planning for threatened species or community information sheet
  • treefern management information.
These planning tools apply across all tenures in Tasmania and are mainly applied at the individual operation or coupe scale. However, there are some planning tools for strategic landscape-level (i.e. multiple coupes) planning and more work is being carried out in this area. Many of the management actions delivered by the system for biodiversity values are provided on the assumption that the elements of other policies related to biodiversity which are currently used for strategic and landscape planning (e.g. the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement, Forestry Tasmania's MDC System, forest management plans), are applied and that there will be successful native vegetation regeneration post-harvest.

Content last modified February 23, 2015, 4:24 pm