Protecting unburnt areas remains an urgent priority following the 2019-2020 bushfires. These areas are critical refuges for wildlife and sinks for forest carbon, and will remain so for many years to come as burnt areas recover. However, unburnt areas not already protected (eg in national parks) remain at risk from key threats, including a warming climate, expanding development, agricultural activity and commercial logging operations.

In this discussion paper, EDO analyses existing frameworks and mechanisms of environmental stewardship and identifies key opportunities for both Federal and State governments to expand and enhance environmental stewardship to protect priority unburnt areas.