Regional Forest Agreements Scientific Advisory Panel: Call for Expressions of Interest

Forest waterfallExpressions of Interest are sought from suitably-qualified colleagues to provide independent advice, review and validation of the science informing the modernisation of Victoria’s Regional Forest Agreements.

The Victorian Government has embarked on a major program to modernise the State’s Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) and the forest management system they accredit. The modernisation process will ensure the RFAs reflect modern science and consider the needs of communities, industry and the environment and will reflect changes that have occurred in the 20 years since the RFAs commenced, including:

  • Recognition of the rights of Traditional Owners to partner in land management and seek economic and cultural opportunities
    • The impact of climate change and extreme weather events, including drought and bushfires
    • Changing forest-based industries and opportunities
    • Advancements in scientific and technological knowledge about forests and ecosystems, threatened species, climate change and extreme weather events, such as droughts and fires

The RFA Modernisation Program, led by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (the Department) has three key elements: updated assessments of forest values, robust engagement with communities, and renewal of Victoria’s RFAs and forest management system.


The purpose of the Panel is to provide independent advice, scientific review and validation to assure communities, stakeholders and Government that the scientific methods and data used to assess forest values and inform forest management decisions are credible, rigorous and able to withstand scrutiny of other scientists and technical experts. The Panel will review and report on the relative merits and limitations of methods and data used to assess forest values and provide recommendations for assessment methods, design and strategic advice on specific RFA assessment matters as requested.

The Panel is intended to enhance the credibility of the forest values assessment process of the RFA Modernisation Program.

Given the overlap in skills and expertise, the Panel may also be called upon to review survey standards and data associated with the Department’s Pre-harvest Survey Program to detect threatened species or species with prescriptions in coupes planned to be harvested in State forests in Gippsland, the Central Highlands and the Hume regions.

To ensure an independent process, the Royal Society of Victoria has been commissioned by DELWP to recruit the members of the RFA Scientific Advisory Panel. The Society is the state’s oldest learned society, convening a community of scientists, researchers, educators, students, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts to promote and celebrate the important role of science in society.

The Scientific Advisory Panel

The Panel will have skills-based membership which will provide a cross-section of environmental, economic and social science expertise in areas relevant to the RFA forest values assessment. The Panel members will collectively have skills or expertise in the following areas:

  • Biodiversity conservation
    • Forest and landscape ecology
    • Hydrology
    • Ecosystem services
    • Climate change
    • Adaptive management
    • Environmental economics
    • Social science.


Expressions of Interest for appointment to the Panel are sought from scientists who are:

  • Recognised by their peers as leaders in their field
  • Well networked, and able to draw on outside scientific expertise to support the Panel as required
  • Able to effectively distil complex scientific information and communicate it effectively to a non-scientific audience.

The Panel composition will seek to achieve diversity among members, including career stage and gender equality.

To apply, please click the link below to be connected to the information and application pack. The window for applications opens on 12 December, 2018 and closes on 21 January, 2019.


To find out more about the RFA Scientific Advisory Panel opportunity, please contact:

Application process: Darral Roberts on (03) 9946 7306 or [email protected]
Panel function & duties: Mike Flattley on (03) 9663 5259 or [email protected]