Australia's State of the Forests Report (SOFR) is the five-yearly national report on the status of Australia's forests. The National Forest Policy Statement, issued in 1992 by the Australian, state and territory governments, sets out a vision and goals, objectives and policies for Australia's forests. It also commits Australia's governments to prepare a national 'state of the forests' review every five years. SOFR meets this requirement and also meets certain reporting requirements of the Commonwealth Regional Forest Agreements Act 2002.
Environmental, social and economic forest-related data are collected from state and territory forest management agencies and Australian government departments and compiled into SOFR, which is the only national report on the state of Australia's forests. SOFR represents the key source of comprehensive information on Australia's forests, and is used extensively across industry, state, territory and Australian governments, and research and educational institutions. It also serves as a source of data and information for many other publications, and underpins a range of international reporting requirements.
SOFR 1998, the first report in the SOFR series, was the first national report on Australia's forests, and reported on a range of biophysical, conservation, social, cultural and economic aspects. SOFR 2003 was the first SOFR to be structured with a formal framework of criteria and indicators. The seven criteria used in SOFR 2003 were also used in SOFR 2008 and SOFR 2013, but a review carried out in 2006 updated the indicators, and a set of 44 indicators was used for the 2008 and 2013 reports. Australia's State of the Forests Report 2018, the fifth in the SOFR series, and the third based the same framework of criteria and indicators.
The National Forest Policy Statement, the Regional Forest Agreements Act 2002, and agreements in individual Regional Forest Agreements constitute the key mandates and drivers for producing the SOFR series, and for reporting using criteria and indicators developed under the international Montréal Process. Reporting in this way leads to known Benefits of producing Australia's State of the Forests Reports.