Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Native forestry

Threatened Species Expert Panel

The Government convened an expert panel of suitably qualified and experienced scientists as part of the process to determine the effectiveness of the multi-scale landscape approach for protection of threatened species. The panel comprised flora and fauna experts from the Office of Environment and Heritage, Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW), as well as independent scientists with technical expertise in threatened species.

The NSW Government is committed to ensuring that the Integrated Forestry Operations Approcal (IFOA) remake is underpinned by the best available knowledge and that the new Coastal IFOA does not erode environmental values. The advice of the expert panel is an important step in delivering against this commitment.

The composition of the panel (PDF 146KB) has varied at different stages of the review, to better address the regional issues and specific species conditions under consideration at each session. This has involved engaging additional individuals, with specialised knowledge and expertise, to provide advice on mitigating the impacts of forestry operations on threatened species and habitat for regionally specific proposals. All new members of the panel were briefed and provided with information on past proposals and discussions prior to joining the expert panel process.

Stage 1 - March 2014

In March 2014, members of the panel were engaged to review the proposed multi-scale landscape protections along with a list of all threatened species known or likely to occur in the forests to be covered by the new Coastal IFOA.

The panel provided advice on improvements to proposed thresholds to limit the impacts of forestry operations and on additional survey and specific protection measures necessary to mitigate forestry impacts on species requiring additional protection. This advice was used to refine the proposed multi-scale landscape framework and develop specific licence provisions. The panel's recommendations were also used to develop or improve specific requirements for threatened species protection and surveys.

Stage 2 - September 2014

In September 2014, the refined multi-scale landscape and threatened species provisions were provided to the panel for further feedback on their adequacy and effectiveness. The panel subsequently provided further expert information and recommendations to the Government for consideration in the refinement and delivery of a draft Coastal IFOA.

The Government has prepared a Remake of the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals Expert Panel Progress Report (PDF 471KB) on the expert panel's review of the proposed multi-scale threatened species conditions.

Stage 3 - August and October 2015

In August 2015, the members of the panel inspected the Trial of the Coastal IFOA. The purpose of the field visits was to show the expert panel how the proposed conditions were implemented in the field. The visit also provided a visual representation of the multi-scale measures, to improve the panel's level of understanding and to enable them to provide informed advice.

Following on from the field inspections, the members of the expert panel met in October 2015 to discuss the findings of the trial and the further refinements that have been proposed.

The Government is continuing to utilise the expertise and advice of the expert panel in the preparation of a draft of the new Coastal IFOA. A detailed report on the findings of the expert panel will be made publicly available with the release of the draft IFOA.

Page last updated: 13 July 2016