For our fourth nature conservation review since 1971 we commissioned seven expert reviews of Victoria’s environmental history, conservation values, and issues in marine, coastal, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems.

You can read more about our previous three nature conservation reviews on our website.

The latest report, Natural Victoria – Conservation Priorities for Victoria’s Natural Heritage, synthesises the commissioned reviews, supplemented by information from a wide range of other publications, and with recommendations developed by our own reference group.

Download the full report


Public summary & additional information

For an indepth overview of the report it is recommended you read our 50 page public summary, which brings together the main findings and issues.

You can also download the report’s appendices and additional information such as fact sheets highlighting key issues and points from the report at the bottom of this page.

Download the Public Summary


Chapter 1: Victoria – Setting the Scene

Many of today’s problems are in part legacies of the past. To recognise that conserving Victoria’s natural heritage is not just about managing the impacts of what we do now, but also the dramatic impacts ‘European’ settlement has had in the past.

Major current trends in climate change, population growth and land use intensification set the scene for the need to strengthen the protection of nature.



Chapter 2: Marine & Coastal Ecosystems

This chapter describes the high natural, social and economic values of Victoria’s marine and coastal ecosystems and major habitat types. It outlines the status of biodiversity and protected areas, and the condition of bays, inlets and estuaries.

Major threats to marine and coastal nature – particularly climate change, coastal development, invasive species and fishing – are described and key gaps identified.



Chapter 3: Terrestrial Ecosystems

The focus in this chapter is terrestrial biodiversity (animals and plants that live on land), particularly native vegetation, and the national park and conservation system.

It highlights the high natural, social and economic values of Victoria’s terrestrial ecosystems, and describes major habitat types, current state of biodiversity, public and private protected areas, gaps and major threats.



Chapter 4: Freshwater Ecosystems

Much of Victoria’s landscape is densely woven with rivers and streams – it is the greatest concentration of waterways on Australia’s mainland.

Chapter 4 describes the natural values of Victoria’s freshwater ecosystems and major habitat types, and identifies gaps and priority reforms for policies and programs in six major areas.



Chapter 5: Environmental Governance

Victoria has the knowledge, wealth and capacity to arrest most current threats to nature and restore environmental health, and there are compelling social, economic and ethical reasons to do so

There is a particular focus on modernising and integrating environmental laws and developing optimal institutional arrangements for environmental regulation and management.



Chapter 6: Consolidated Recommendations

This chapter is a list of the 160 plus specific recommendations, from throughout the report.





Fact Sheets