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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
&
Australian Government Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Hon Peter McGauran MP

20 March 2006

A better national picture of native vegetation


Australia has a new national snapshot of its native vegetation.

The National Vegetation Information System (NVIS) is a comprehensive database containing detailed and accurate information on Australia's native vegetation. It brings together vegetation information from state and territory governments, and other sources.

The new vegetation information system was announced today by the Australian Government Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran.

The Ministers also announced the Australian Government would provide a further $3.9 million over 2006-07 and 2007-08 to continue its investment in vegetation and forestry information, including further development of the NVIS. Of this funding, a critical sum of more than $300,000 would go directly into working with the states and territories on new vegetation infrastructure and products.

Mr McGauran said the new National Vegetation Information System addressed the needs of natural resource managers and researchers for better access to information on Australia's native vegetation.

"The information will help people, such as land holders and catchment managers, to work towards biodiversity conservation and sustainable production in rural areas," Mr McGauran said.

"It will help regional planners set targets for improved management of native vegetation on their land," he said.

Senator Campbell said by providing better information and better science, Australia was paving the way for improved environmental decision-making and future environmental results.

"The NVIS shows how the Australian and state governments are working together to meet the needs of natural resource management decision makers - land holders, catchment management authorities and all tiers of government," Senator Campbell said.

A summary of the information on the NVIS database is attached.

Further details and products from the National Vegetation Information System can be accessed online at www.deh.gov.au/erin/nvis

More information on Australia's vegetation can be found at www.daff.gov.au/forest_veg

Media Contact:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
Russ Neal (Minister McGauran) 0413 6013


National Vegetation Information System (NVIS)

Good information on vegetation generates many economic and environmental benefits. It is a fundamental input to natural resource management planning at all scales.

The NVIS provides the best available and most up-to-date vegetation information in a consistent format across the nation. It also provides guidelines for surveying, classifying and mapping new vegetation datasets. Its framework was developed through a partnership of vegetation information and land management agencies across Australia. Key information products the NVIS can generate include:

Details and products from the National Vegetation Information System can be accessed online at www.deh.gov.au/erin/nvis. Further information on Australia's vegetation can be found at www.daff.gov.au/forest_veg. An Integrated Vegetation online dataset, which uses NVIS and other information, allows users to produce customised maps at the regional scale. It can be viewed at http://adl.brs.gov.au/mapserv/intveg/index.html.

National Funding Commitment

The Australian Government is committing $3.9 million from the Natural Heritage Trust to support vegetation information activities during 2006-07 and 2007-08.

A range of projects will be managed and coordinated across the Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, and Environment and Heritage portfolios. They will provide information on:

The information will contribute to improved, science-based decision and policy making for sustainable natural resource management. It will identify and report on trends and the condition of vegetation across Australia's range of landscapes, and support improved delivery of natural resource management policies and programs in sectors such as forestry, agriculture and the environment.

Products to be published under these projects will include:

The projects will improve the integration of data collected in the National Vegetation Information System and National Forest Inventory. Ongoing cooperation with the states will be achieved through the National Forest Inventory Steering Committee and the Executive Steering Committee on Australian Vegetation Information, in partnership with the National Land and Water Resources Audit.

The projects will also improve access to the information products by regions, industry and the community - on the web and in hard copy.

Commonwealth of Australia