Ecosystem services

Ecosystem services refer to the benefits people derive from ecosystems. These include provisioning services such as food, wood and other raw materials; regulating services such as pollination of crops, prevention of soil erosion and water purification; and a vast array of cultural services, like recreation and a sense of place.

Priority RFA information

The economic value of the ecological services that forests provide.

Sustainability Indicators

Inform measures and reporting on performance in relation to the following Sustainability Indicators:

Criterion 2: Maintenance of productive capacity of forest ecosystems

  • 2.1a Native forest available for wood production, area harvested and growing stock of merchantable and non-merchantable tree species

Criterion 6: Maintenance and enhancement of long-term multiple socio-economic benefits to meet the needs of societies

6.1 Production and consumption

  • 6.1c Value of forest-based services

6.2 Investment in the forest sector

  • 6.2a Investment and expenditure in forest management
  • 6.2b Investment in research, development, extension and use of new and improved technologies

Criterion 7: Legal, institutional and economic framework for forest conservation and sustainable management

  • 7.1a Extent to which the legal framework supports the conservation and sustainable management of forests
  • 7.1b Extent to which the institutional framework supports the conservation and sustainable management of forests
  • 7.1c Extent to which the economic framework supports the conservation and sustainable management of forests
  • 7.1d Capacity to measure and monitor changes in the conservation and sustainable management of forests
  • 7.1e Capacity to conduct and apply research and development aimed at improving forest management and delivery of forest goods and services

Evaluation questions for all RFA regions

  1. To what extent are forests delivering sustainable social, cultural and economic benefits for people, and what are predicted trajectories?


  1. Natural Capital Assessment Methodology (NCAM) is being developed through the Recognising Natural Capital Program (ReNCaP) by the Centre for Advanced Analytics and Economics within the Environment, Energy and Science section of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

  2. Experimental ecosystem accounting project in the Gunbower-Koondrook-Perricoota Forest Icon Site
    Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Murray Darling Basin Authority, CSIRO
    More details here

  3. Ecosystem accounts in box gum grassy woodlands
    National Environmental Science Program Threatened Species Recovery Hub, Australian National University
    More details here

See research priorities.