Reporting and adaptive management

The NSW Forest Monitoring Steering Committee, independently chaired by the Commission, will review the Coastal IFOA and the monitoring program annually.

The annual reviews will consider the results of the monitoring program and identify key insights and implications based on the findings of the monitoring data. This will guide the recommendations made to the NSW Government, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) on how the Coastal IFOA could better meet its objectives and outcomes.

The Steering Committee will also engage stakeholders on progress and results at annual forums.

First five-yearly review of monitoring program

Under Coastal IFOA Protocol 38, the monitoring program must undergo a major review every five years, the first of which is due in 2024. This review must include:

  • detailed reporting of monitoring program progress and all results
  • detailed analysis of trends
  • an assessment of the adequacy of the monitoring program.

The Natural Resources Commission, on behalf of the Steering Committee, is working to address these review requirements. In addition, First Person Consulting is conducting an independent review of the adequacy of the program, and the Steering Committee is seeking the views of interested stakeholders.

The outcomes of the review will inform future adaptation and improvements to the monitoring program.

Have your say on the monitoring program and its future direction

As part of this first major review, we invite public submissions on the Coastal IFOA monitoring program.

Have your say by 5:00pm on Sunday 18 February 2024.

We would like your feedback on the following:

  1. Does the monitoring program provide useful information and insights that meet your needs? If not, what are the key gaps?
  2. Is the monitoring program and its findings clear and easy to understand, or can this be improved?
  3. Are there any other ways we can improve the monitoring program?

You can provide your submission by:

If you have any questions regarding the review or require support lodging your submission, call 02 9228 4844 or email: nrc@nrc.nsw.gov.au.

Note: All submissions will be published on this website unless clearly marked ‘confidential’, or found to contain material that is defamatory, offensive or in breach of any law. You can also choose to make your submission anonymous. See our submissions policy for more details.

Reporting

The Commission, on behalf of the Steering Committee, produces annual progress reports for the Coastal IFOA monitoring program. The program reports at least annually to the NSW Government, Environment Protection Authority and the Department of Primary Industries.

We have released the third annual progress report for this program, outlining program achievements and progress for 2022-23. A key achievement is rolling out a full fauna species occupancy monitoring program on state forests in the north and south coast regions of the Coastal IFOA. The program has also progressed research and evaluation on issues such as tree hollows, damage to retained trees, and the use of novel and remote sensing technologies – for example, drones and e-DNA analysis – to detect key species.

We have also delivered an independent research report on koala response to harvesting on north coast forests, available here.

Adaptive management

Annual coastal IFOA health checks

IFOA Annual health check

Under the Coastal IFOA, the Steering Committee must undertake an annual ‘health check’ (see Coastal IFOA, Protocol 38). The annual health check is designed to consider the results of the monitoring program and identify new research priorities to improve forest management outcomes.

Since 2021, we have hosted three health checks with representatives from the EPA, DPI and FCNSW. We report outcomes to the steering committee annually before reporting outcomes to the EPA CEO and DPI Director General and relevant Ministers.

2021 health check

Parties agreed to initiate two new research projects to address knowledge gaps:

  • review the use of temporary log crossings on coastal state forests
  • analyse existing field data to support further hollow modelling.

Since the health check, the program commissioned scientists at:

More information on the 2021 health check can be found in the Coastal IFOA monitoring annual report (2022).

2022 health check

Parties agreed to initiate new research to address knowledge gaps and uncertainties in the application and interpretation of the Coastal IFOA definition of damage to trees.

Since the health check, the program commissioned researchers at Western Sydney University to develop an evidence base to objectively assess the impact of injuries to retained trees during forestry operations.

As a next step, the program will initiate further work to set objective injury thresholds for different types of injuries for retained trees as codified under the Coastal IFOA.

More information on the 2022 health check can be found in the Coastal IFOA monitoring annual report (2023).

2023 health check

No new research was identified. Instead, parties noted the program will deliver its five yearly-review of evidence in 2024 to inform the Coastal IFOA review.

Annual species management plan reviews

Annual reviews of Species Management Plans (SMPs) will be overseen by the Commission with the Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW) and the EPA. FNCSW must establish SMPs for the Coastal IFOA for specific flora and fauna and include annual reporting provisions (see Condition 84 and Protocol 21). The EPA approves amendments to the SMPs.

SMP reviews and updates can be found here.

Annual forum - Coastal IFOA monitoring program

The Coastal IFOA requires the program to engage stakeholders and community annually to share emerging results from monitoring activities. The Commission hosted its second annual forum in November 2020.

Previous and upcoming webinar forums can be found here.