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'Off-reserve' management in practice: Contributing to conservation of biodiversity over 30 years of Tasmania's forest practices system


Munks, SA and Chuter, AE and Koch, AJ, 'Off-reserve' management in practice: Contributing to conservation of biodiversity over 30 years of Tasmania's forest practices system, Forest Ecology and Management, 465 Article 117941. ISSN 0378-1127 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2020.117941


The importance of 'off-reserve' conservation management in production forest landscapes was recognised in the 1980s and has gained momentum with the development and implementation of systems and policies leading up to the present day. Despite much theory, there are few published accounts of 'off-reserve' conservation systems in practice. Here, we describe the approach taken to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity outside of the formal reserve system, through the Tasmanian forest practices system.

The approach is part of the legislative and policy framework for Tasmanian biodiversity conservation, contributing to broader conservation goals through complementing the reserve system and other conservation mechanisms. It has evolved over the past 30 years into a targeted, risk- and outcomes-based approach, broadly consistent with the theory of forest biodiversity conservation. Key elements include a policy to maintain a permanent native forest estate, a code of practice, planning tools, scientific advice, training, research, monitoring, and continual improvement in an adaptive management manner. Standards and guidelines applied at multiple spatial scales aim to reduce impacts on a diverse range of forest biodiversity values ranging from vegetation communities and broad habitat features to individual fauna and flora species and focal habitats. Aspects of the approach that make it relatively unique are the comprehensive nature of the provisions for biodiversity, the tenure blind application, strategic level approaches using surrogates, a move toward consideration of the broader landscape and an emphasis on education and cooperation.

While there is some evidence that elements of the approach are effective and have adapted over time there are ongoing data gaps and uncertainties and social, political and economic barriers to success. Practical considerations for the success of any 'off-reserve' conservation management system from our experience include evidence-based measures to meet well-defined goals, a clear risk-based planning process, access to planning tools and specialist advice, flexible and practical application by trained practitioners across all land tenures, meticulous documentation of decisions, emphasis on monitoring and a continual improvement process agreed by all stakeholders that includes consideration of social and economic factors.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:off-reserve conservation, forest sharing, forest practices system, biodiversity conservation, threatened species management, threatened vegetation community management, forest management
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Munks, SA (Dr Sarah Munks)
UTAS Author:Chuter, AE (Miss Anne Chuter)
UTAS Author:Koch, AJ (Ms Amelia Koch)
ID Code:153020
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Research Performance and Analysis
Deposited On:2022-09-01
Last Modified:2022-10-14

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