Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Native forestry

Review of NSW forest agreements and integrated forestry operations approvals

Background to the review

In accordance with the Forestry Act 2012, the NSW Government completed a Review of Forestry Agreements and Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOAs) for the Upper North East, Lower North East, Eden and Southern regions in 2010. The purpose of the review was to assess:

  • the implementation of the provisions of the agreements
  • whether the IFOAs effectively achieved their purpose.

The review was not intended to cover issues such as changes to land tenure, modifications of timber volumes or additional reserve design. See also the Terms of Reference for the Review (PDF 13KB).

Public consultation report

A public consultation report on the Review of the NSW Forest Agreements and IFOAs (PDF 1.2MB) was exhibited between 16 October and 17 November 2010. The report brought together expert advice, technical information, public opinion and considered previous annual progress reports.

The public consultation report:

  • provided up-to-date progress on delivery of key milestones under the four forest agreements
  • highlighted important achievements made over the first 10 years
  • recommended 63 changes to the licence and non-licence components of the IFOAs to clarify and simplify conditions, improve operational efficiency and improve environmental outcomes.

Review outcomes report

Twenty one submissions were received in response to the public consultation report. Comments were provided by conservation groups, the forest industry and its associations, and individuals.

The Outcomes from the Review of the NSW Forest Agreements and the Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals report (PDF 557KB) summarises the key themes raised by stakeholders, identifies issues that require further consideration and provides the outcomes of the review.

A number of submissions related to topics outside the scope of the review. These have been noted and represent a valuable contribution towards the development of related government policy.

Amendments to integrated forestry operations approvals

A number of amendments were made to the following IFOAs as a consequence of the review:

Review of ecologically sustainable management criteria and indicators

Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management (ESFM) is the management of forests so that they are sustained in perpetuity for the benefit of society. ESFM is achieved by ensuring that forest values are not degraded for current and future generations.

The NSW Forest Agreements identify a system for monitoring and reporting on ESFM in NSW. The system uses ESFM criteria and indicators that are consistent with international practice. Both the NSW Forest Agreements  and the Regional Forest Agreements  that NSW has signed with the Commonwealth Government require the indicators to be reviewed. The most recent review was completed in November 2015. The revised ESFM criteria and indicators are outlined in the following report.

For additional queries about the review you can contact the environment line on 131 555, or email us at

Page last updated: 13 March 2017