Why we need a national forest monitoring system: The case for the Continental Forest Monitoring Framework
Forests are one of Australia's greatest natural assets. They are highly valued, have many uses and provide a wide range of valuable products and benefits for society. Australia has over 164 million hectares of forests, and is the sixth largest forested country in the world. There are increasing needs to measure and monitor the extent and condition of Australia's forests for management purposes and for domestic and international reporting requirements.
A wide range of forest data is collected by agencies including Federal, State and Territory governments. These are often collected using different methods and are not always consistent across boundaries making national compilations difficult. Changing methods of forest mapping over time also poses problems for assessing trends in forest extent and condition.
To address these issues, the National Forest Inventory in partnership with the States and Territories has designed the Continental Forest Monitoring Framework (CFMF).
The CFMF has been designed with a focus on forests but it is a framework that could also be used to collect monitoring information on vegetation outside forests. This paper describes the CFMF design and results from a pilot project in the Ovens and Broken catchments in north east Victoria.