The Victorian Forest Monitoring Program (VFMP) is a statewide forest monitoring information system. The program assesses the extent, state and sustainable development of Victorian forests. All data is for long term trend detection and prediction of type and severity of future changes. Findings can influence effective land management policy and decision making. The program provides a platform that meets statutory reporting obligations.
We produce a State of the Forests Report every five years under obligations of the Sustainable Forest (Timber) Act 2004. The Victorian State of the Forests Report assesses progress towards sustainable forest management.
Through the program, we undertake a range of monitoring activities across public forests and parks. To meet these requirements and information needs it is imperative that the VFMP provide monitoring results that are defensible, transparent and repeatable.
The Victorian Forest Monitoring Program is now Australia's most comprehensive statewide public land monitoring system. It now collects widespread and consistent information about most Victoria's forests. In October 2015, the 5 year re-measurement cycle of these ground plots commenced.
All data gathered through the program will improve evidence-based decision making and policy development across a range of issues, including:
- Fire and flood impacts
- Habitat protection
- Carbon accounting
- Forest productivity
- Forest health and biodiversity
How the Victorian Forest Monitoring Program work?
The Victorian Forest Monitoring Program utilises a network of ground plots across public forests and parks. Ground plots are mapped through detailed aerial photography and satellite imagery. The network provides set attributes of forest structure, species and diversity. Plus, attributes of canopy condition and soil characteristics. This derives indicators of sustainability and measure changes in the extent, state and condition of our forests.
Changes in forest structure and composition affect a wide range of resource properties and processes. This may include habitat quality, biodiversity, the hydro-logical cycle and carbon storage. The program monitors plant species distribution within overstory and understory layers. shifts in tree species distribution at large spatial and slow temporal scales.
The plot network design is based on systematic stratified sampling. The design comprises of the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) bioregions with Crown land categories (parks, reserves and State forest).
The complete VFMP ground plot network comprises a total of 786 field plots. Ground plots are installed by trained forest measurement specialists and botanists.
Page last updated: 08/07/21