Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Native forestry

NSW Forest Agreements and IFOAs

NSW Forest Agreements

NSW Forest Agreements are the result of consultation and consensus established between the NSW Government and major forest stakeholders. By detailing the agreed basis for long-term decisions on forest use and management, they provide certainty for industry, conservation and the community, and deliver on the Government's forest policy:

  • to protect environmental values in a world class system of national parks and other reserves
  • to encourage the creation of strong and competitive ecologically sustainable forest industries
  • to manage all native forests in an ecologically sustainable way.

There are currently four NSW Forest Agreements covering eastern areas of NSW which were made in 1999 for the Upper North East (UNE), Lower North East (LNE), and Eden regions; and in 2002 for the Southern Region.

The agreements are for 20 years. There is annual reporting on their implementation.

Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOAs)

The Forestry Act 2012 provides for integrated forestry operations approvals (IFOAs), which integrate the regulatory regimes for environmental planning and assessment, for the protection of the environment and for threatened species conservation.

An IFOA describes the forestry operations and conditions covered by the approval, including a description of the area of the State to which it applies. The approvals contain the terms of a licence under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the Fisheries Management Act 1994. Enforcement of the licences rests with the EPA or DPI – Fisheries.

An IFOA applies to anyone carrying out forestry operations on State forests and other Crown-timber lands. An approval can only be granted for all or part of the region covered by a Forest Agreement (or conservation decision).

List of IFOAs in NSW:


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Page last updated: 15 December 2015