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Mar 09, 2018
What is the habitat hectare method
The habitat hectare method is a site-based assessment which measures the condition of native vegetation with reference to a benchmark for the same vegetation type. The condition combines with the area, to determine the amount of habitat hectares in a patch of vegetation.
The method is the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) approved method of assessing native vegetation, for the purposes of regulation and investment. Qualified assessors undertake habitat hectare assessments to determine losses from clearing of native vegetation and gains available in offset sites.
What is habitat hectare version 2?
The habitat hectare method for assessing native vegetation condition has been reviewed and modified to better represent vegetation condition, reduce assessor bias and improve consistency and repeatability in the method. The review has resulted in some changes being made to the field assessment approach and significant changes to the way vegetation condition is scored.
When will version 2 be implemented?
Version 2 will be implemented in mid-2014, following a period of consultation, feedback and training. Version 1.3, released in 2004, will continue to be applied for the purposes of Native Vegetation Regulation decision making during this intervening period. Habitat hectare version 1.3 remains unchanged during this time, and still includes an assessment of Landscape Context as part of the condition score.
What is the purpose of the habitat hectare version 2 Manual?
The manual is a technical guide for assessors needing to conduct a habitat hectare assessment in the field. It does not provide a comprehensive explanation of the new method or provide justification for the methodology.
Further information will be made available in the coming months, which will provide a more detailed explanation of the decision making, scoring approach and assessment criteria of the new approach.
Can I provide feedback on the Draft habitat hectare version 2 Manual?
Technical experts in native vegetation assessment are invited to provide feedback on the draft manual. Feedback should be focussed on the usability and relevance of the manual for native vegetation assessors. Feedback is not being sought on the assessment criteria or scoring approach.
Feedback can be directed to: [email protected] It should include the heading: Draft HHv2 Manual feedback and may be in the form of either comments or suggestions, or can be a Word version of the manual with tracked changes.
The closing date for feedback process is March 28, 2014.
When will training be available for native vegetation assessors?
DEPI approved training will be available prior to the implementation of the new method. Online training will be available which aims to provide users with an understanding of the method and its application. A more comprehensive, field-based training program will be available to native vegetation assessors and will include accreditation of assessors through the habitat hectare competency process.
Assessors who are currently registered on DEPIs Vegetation Quality Assessment Competency Register have had their competency extended until the release of the new version. All assessors will be required to complete the competency check in the new method to be eligible to assess native vegetation to DEPIs standards.
Where can I get further information?
Further information on the method will be made available in the coming months. Queries can be directed to: [email protected]
Other information regarding native vegetation, including DEPIs native vegetation permitted clearing regulations and associated fact sheets can be found at: www.depi.vic.gov.au/nativevegetation.
Draft Habitat Hectare Version 2 Manual Fact sheet
Published by the Victorian Government Department of Environment and Primary Industries Melbourne, February 2014.
The State of Victoria Department of Environment and Primary Industries
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