Native Vegetation - Information
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Ecological Vegetation ClassEcological Vegetation Classes (EVC) are the standard unit for classifying vegetation types in Victoria. EVCs are a type of native vegetation classification described through a combination of floristics, life forms and ecological characteristics, and through an inferred fidelity to particular environmental attributes. Each EVC includes a collection of floristic communities (i.e. lower level in the classification that is based solely on groups in the same species) that occur across a biogeographic range, and although differing in species, have similar habitat and ecological processes operating.
Ecological Vegetation Class benchmarksEcological Vegetation Class (EVC) benchmarks relate to a single EVC within one bioregion. In some cases, more than one EVC benchmark may exist for a bioregion. This is particularly the case for EVCs where variants containing different life form characteristics and occupying distinct environments are known to exist. Click here to visit the EVC benchmark home page. The Vegetation Quality Assessment Manual describes how EVC benchmarks are applied during vegetation quality assessments.
Native Vegetation Spatial DatasetsA number of new and revised native vegetation spatial datasets are now available. For further information go to the DEPI Conservation and Environment web theme and click on Native Vegetation Information > Accessing native vegetation data. The revised datasets should be used for all planning permits and offsets plans submitted from 11 April 2008.
Bioregional Conservation StatusThe bioregional conservation status of EVCs was revised and updated in November 2007 following revised native vegetation mapping. The revised status should be used for all planning permits and offset plans submitted to the relevant authorities from 11 April 2008. For more information go the Accessing Native Vegetation Data web page.
Native Vegetation Information SystemDevelopment and maintenance of the national Native Vegetation Information System (NVIS) is a collaborative program between the Australian, State and Territory governments. The NVIS framework is managed by the Executive Steering Committee for Australian Vegetation Information (ESCAVI), which comprises senior representatives from each of the above jurisdictions. Information from NVIS will provide a national context to Victorias native vegetation, both pre-clearing and present day perspectives. NVIS also provides some technical detail for native vegetation assessment:
Restoration and Revegetation guidesNative vegetation plant species lists are difficult to find when restoring and revegetating our landscape. DEPI, CMA's and local governments are endeavouring to develop such guides across Victoria. The following links are to guides that are currently published on the web.
The Revegetation Planting Standards document describes those minimum standards and will assist decison-makers with establishing revegetation to inform investment or planning decisions as set out under Victoria’s Native Vegetation Management Framework: A Framework for Action (NRE 2002). This document also outlines the approach for determining the required area for replanting to offset the loss of scattered trees in circumstances where replanting is required as part of permitted clearing.
Port Phillip and Western Port
South Western Victoria
Interactive mapsInteractive maps allow the end-user to zoom-in and out, pan around the map, identify features, do queries on databases, link to other sites and print out maps. These interactive maps can be found on the DEPI website. Some information available on these map makers included: ecological vegetation classes, bioregion conservation status of EVCs, geomorphology, wetlands, land tenure, management boundaries, water courses, roads, rail etc. Maps available include topics such as: Biodiversity, Catchment and Water, Fireplan, Forest Explorer, Marine Maps, Minerals and Petroleum Resources and Victorian Water Resources.
Property, Titles and Map InformationThe Property, Titles and Map Information web pages on the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) will lead you to information on maps, aerial photographs, native title, geographical place names and general property information.
Australian Natural Resources Atlas Map MakerThe Commonwealth government has created a national map maker tool which allows the user to map vegetation, satellite imagery, land tenure etc. around the nation. Click here to access the Australian Natural Resources Atlas map maker.
Victoria’s Native Vegetation Management FrameworkVictoria's Native Vegetation Management - A Framework For Action (2002) ‘The Framework’ is the Victorian State Government’s strategy to protect, enhance and revegetate Victoria’s native vegetation. The main goal of The Framework is to achieve a reversal, across the entire landscape of the long-term decline in the extent and quality of native vegetation, leading to a net gain.
Guide for assessment of referred planning permit applicationsThe Guide for assessment of referred planning permit applications (Guide) explains how the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) will assess referred planning permit applications involving the removal of native vegetation.
The Guide describes how the referral authority (DEPI) will consider each of the decision guidelines under clause 52.17 of the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) and planning schemes when assessing a referred application and how to respond to the responsible authority when the Secretary to DEPI is a referral authority in respect of an application. The assessment of referred planning permit applications for native vegetation operates as part of the VPP and, accordingly the Native Vegetation Management Framework and clause 52.17 are only part of a range of considerations in relation to native vegetation.
Practice notes and Advisory NotesSeveral Victorian Planning Provisions (VPP) Practice and Advisory Notes have been prepared to explain the new planning tools and assessment approach for native vegetation. More practice notes and amended planning scheme provisions are available on the Planning pages on the Department of Environment and Primary Industries web site - Planning Practice Notes
Vegetation Quality Assessment ManualThe Vegetation Quality Assessment Manual (VQA) describes the application of the habitat hectares method for assessing native vegetation quality as described by Parkes et. al (2003) and incorporating refinements to its on-ground application as a result of user-feedback and additional research by DEPI’s Arthur Rylah Institute. It provides a step-by-step approach to conducting assessments in the field and contains tips for ensuring consistency in application. The method involves assessment of a number of site-based habitat and landscape components against a predetermined EVC benchmark.
The manual is the DEPI recognised method for assessing native vegetation in accordance with Victoria’s Native Vegetation Management – A Framework for Action (2002).
Wetland Vegetation AssessmentThe Wetland Vegetation Assessment (WVA) method is similar in approach to the Vegetation Quality Assessment for terrestrial vegetation but uses some different attributes unique to wetlands. The method has been developed as part of the Index of Wetland Condition, which assesses a range of wetland components. However, the WVA can also be applied in situations where only the wetland vegetation quality is being assessed, for example as part of a native vegetation investment proposal.
Vegetation Gain ApproachThe Vegetation Gain Approach document describes the approach for calculating gains in native vegetation quality and quantity from improved management of native vegetation and revegetation of formerly cleared areas. It describes the logic for scoring gains from typical landholder commitments, based on the current condition of the site and includes information on scoring gains for non-standard actions and offset scenarios. Calculated gains are combined with a range of other information used to assess native vegetation in Victoria and are a key component of the implementation of the Victorian Government's policy to increase the quality and extent of native vegetation leading to a 'net gain'.
The approach outlined in the document has been developed to assist decision-makers with calculating appropriate native vegetation gains to inform investment or planning decisions as set out under Victoria’s Native Vegetation Management Framework: A Framework for Action (NRE 2002). To assist with this task, DEPI has also developed a DEPI Gain Calculator that applies the gain-scoring algorithms described in the Vegetation Gain Approach document in an easy to use format.
Note that in the case of proposals under the planning system, the approach only applies to native vegetation offsets required to mitigate losses of native vegetation patches assessed under the DEPI-referred path and does not need to be applied to offset losses of scattered trees nor native vegetation losses assessed under the Local Government (non-referred) path (refer to relevant Planning Practice Notes for further clarification of assessment pathways).
DEPI Gain Calculator (Version 1.2 was released in September 2008)This Microsoft Excel software package and user instructions enable a user to quickly calculate the gain from one or more offset proposals. The DEPI Gain Calculator uses standard gain-scoring algorithms described in the Vegetation Gain Approach document, which will work for the majority of offset situations but also provides flexibility for users to score gains for non-standard actions/offset scenarios where these are encountered.
Revegetation Planting StandardsLand managers or landholders proposing to revegetate a cleared area or supplementary plant within a remnant patch of native vegetation will be required to meet minimum standards in order for those actions to qualify as a native vegetation gain. The Revegetation Planting Standards document describes those minimum standards and will assist decison-makers with establishing revegetation to inform investment or planning decisions as set out under Victoria’s Native Vegetation Management Framework: A Framework for Action (NRE 2002). This document also outlines the approach for determining the required area for replanting to offset the loss of scattered trees in circumstances where replanting is required as part of permitted clearing.
Planning for biodiversity restoration at large scalesBiodiversity Action Planning is a structured approach to identifying priorities and mapping significant areas for native biodiversity conservation at the landscape and Bioregional scales. The Strategic Overview provides details of the framework and methodology used in developing bioregional Biodiversity Action Planning (BAP) and an overview of the features and assets of the bioregion. Specific information on assets and priorities for actions within landscape zones is assembled in the Landscape Plans. Landscape plans include the native vegetation priorities identified in the regional Native Vegetation Plans (NVP) and identify the best options for restoring native vegetation to recover biodiversity at a more detailed scale than is possible in the NVPs. The biodiversity information provided in Landscape Plans is a resource input to Local Area Plans, or other planning processes such as Landcare plans, which may be developed through community engagement processes, and cover a range of natural resource issues.
Modelling vegetation condition across Northern VictoriaNorthwest Victoria was the last remaining area in the state to be comprehensively mapped to Ecological Vegetation Class (EVC) scale. Between 2002-2003, botanists mapped all native remnant vegetation on public and private land (excluding National Parks) to a scale of 1:25,000 and modelled pre-European vegetation across Northwest Victoria. This data is now available on the biodiversity interactive maps and as a spatial layer from DEPI. For further information visit Arthur Rylah Institute.
Victorian Tree Fern Management PlanThe Victorian Tree Fern Management plan recognises the significant role that tree-ferns play in some forest ecosystems and prescribes measures for their sustainable use. The plan also describes how illegal harvesting and trade will be addressed.
Advisory list of Rare or Threatened Plants of Victoria and, Threatened Animals in VictoriaThe Advisory Lists are maintained by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries and are based on technical information and advice obtained from a range of experts. They are reviewed periodically, usually every one to two years. The information in these lists may be of use in a range of planning processes, such as the preparation of National Park Management Plans, Forest Management Plans, local government planning schemes, regional catchment strategies and in setting priorities for actions to conserve biodiversity. Together with the range of programs and other resources available, lists of this type serve to increase community awareness of threatened species and may encourage community members to become involved in activities to protect threatened species, thereby reducing the risk of their conservation status worsening.
Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action StatementsAction Statements have been prepared under the guidelines of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and are like brief management plans. They provide some background information about the species, including its description, distribution, habitat, life history, the reasons for its decline and the threats which affect it. They also state what has been done to conserve the species and what will be done. Action Statements are designed to apply for three to five years, after which time they will be reviewed and updated.