Dataset: Australia's Indigenous forest estate (2020)


This dataset has been superseded by the Australia's Indigenous land and forest estate (2020) dataset. For further information please see:

Australia’s Indigenous forest estate (2020) is a continental spatial dataset that identifies and reports separately the individual attributes of Australia’s Indigenous estate, namely the extent of land and forest over which Indigenous peoples and communities have ownership, management or co-management, or other special rights.

The dataset was compiled by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) for the National Forest Inventory (NFI), a collaborative partnership between the Australian and state and territory governments. The role of the NFI is to collate, integrate and communicate information on Australia's forests. The NFI applies a national classification to state and territory data to allow seamless integration of these datasets. Multiple independent sources of external data are used to fill data gaps and improve the quality of the final dataset.

Australia’s National Forest Inventory has previously used the four derived category combinations of Dillon et al. (2015) ( for reporting the Indigenous estate in Australia’s State of the Forests Report 2013 and Australia’s State of the Forests Report 2018. These four categories combined in various ways the individual attributes of the Indigenous estate, with an area of land or forest being allocated to only one of the four categories. However, the categories did not allow separate reporting on Indigenous ownership, management or co-management, or other special rights.​

The methodology described in Australia’s Indigenous land and forest estate: separate reporting of Indigenous ownership, management and other special rights (Jacobsen et al. 2020) ( disentangles the four categories of Dillon et al. (2015), and allows separate reporting of each of Indigenous ownership of land or forest, Indigenous management or co‑management of land or forest, and land or forest over which Indigenous peoples and communities have other special rights. Separate spatial coverages were created for each of these attributes, and this new dataset can form the basis for subsequent reporting on the relationships between Indigenous peoples and land or forest.

The methods and data in this data package use the same sources of data used for assembling the Australia’s Indigenous forest estate (2018) spatial dataset, but presents the information on the Indigenous land estate by the separate attributes ownership, management of co-management, and other special rights, according to the new methodology of Jacobsen et al. (2020). The Indigenous land dataset is also combined (intersected) with forest cover information from the Forests of Australia (2018) dataset.​ The resulting output dataset provides information on the Indigenous estate for both land and forest.

This dataset is updated every five years for the Australia's State of the Forests Report Series. Further information can be found on the Forests Australia website:

General Information