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closeThe former Department of Environment and Heritage Protection is merging to form the new Department of Environment and Science.
This site will be updated while the new Department of Environment and Science website is being established.


Planting trees to establish a new forest.
A plant having its seeds enclosed in an ovary.
Biogenic emissions
Emissions from natural sources, such as plants and trees.
An area of land that comprises broad landscape patterns that reflect major structural geologies and climate, as well as major floristic and faunal assemblages.
Broad Vegetation Groups
A higher-level grouping of vegetation communities across the state, encompassing a wide variety of landscapes across temperate, wet and dry tropics and semi-arid to arid climatic zones.
Constructing an embankment or causeway.
Contaminated soil
Soil that contains hazardous materials (such as asbestos and hazardous chemicals).
The permanent removal of forests or trees from a large area, usually for commercial purposes.
Deposited sediment
The laying down of sediment carried by wind, water, or ice.
Drainage Division
Divisions that are defined by major landscape features and climatic zones to form broad hydrological regions.
Ecological Processes
The physical, chemical and biological processes on which life depends. Ecological processes include decomposition, plant matter production, nutrient cycling, and fluxes of nutrients and energy.
A community of organisms interacting with one another and with the environment in which they live.
Enteric fermentation
Fermentation that takes place in the digestive systems of animals. In particular, animals such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and camels that have a large ‘fore-stomach’ within which microbial fermentation breaks down food into soluble products that can be utilised by the animal.
Land that is dominated by an herbaceous plant that is not a grass.
A plant having its seeds exposed or naked, not enclosed in an ovary.
Any chemical compound of the element carbon and one or more of the halogens (bromine, chlorine, fluorine, iodine).
The process whereby an animal eats a plant or a plant-like organism such as a seaweed or phytoplankton.
Industrial combustion
The rapid oxidation of hydrocarbon fuels to generate large quantities of energy for use in industrial heating and melting processes.
Mean temperature
The average temperature of the air during a given time period, usually a day, month, or year.
One-millionth of a metre. Symbol: μm
Outstanding universal value (OUV)
Refers to cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity.
Pan evaporation
A measurement that combines or integrates the effects of several climate elements: temperature, humidity, rainfall, drought dispersion, solar radiation, and wind. Evaporation is greatest on hot, windy, dry, sunny days; and is greatly reduced when clouds block the sun and when air is cool, calm, and humid.
Photochemical smog
Smog formed in the atmosphere when precursor pollutants including nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) undergo reactions in sunlight to form smog, of which ozone is the principal component. The haze caused by photochemical smog can also reduce visibility.
Point source
A localised and stationary source of pollution.
Falling products of condensation in the atmosphere, as rain, snow, or hail.
Pre-clearing vegetation
Vegetation present before clearing.
Plants which are without seeds, have vascular tissue, and are differentiated into root, stem, and leaf. It includes ferns, horsetails, and club mosses.
Ramsar Convention of wetlands
An international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilisation of wetlands, recognising the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value.
Planting trees to re-establish a depleted forest.
Regional Ecosystem
Refers to a vegetation community in a bioregion that is consistently associated with a particular combination of geology, landform and soil.
Regulated waste
Includes hazardous wastes listed in Schedule 7 of the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008. It includes asbestos, pesticides, a range of waste chemicals and chemical compounds, and other industrial wastes.
Remnant vegetation

Defined under the Vegetation Management Act 1999 and refers to vegetation that is:

  • an endangered regional ecosystem, or
  • of concern regional ecosystem, or
  • least concern regional ecosystem

And forms the predominant canopy of the vegetation:

  • covering more than 50% of the undisturbed predominant canopy, and
  • averaging more than 70% of the vegetation’s undisturbed height, and composed of species characteristic of the vegetation’s undisturbed predominant canopy.
Of, relating to, or located on the banks of a river or stream.
Scarred trees
Trees that have had bark removed by Indigenous Australians for the creation of bark canoes, shelters, shields and containers, such as coolamons.
Being appreciably dry but not as dry as arid regions.
Stone artefact scatters
Stone artefacts are either flaked or ground into shape, or are made through a combination of these methods. They are manufactured and used by Aboriginal groups across Australia and provide the earliest evidence of human occupation in Australia, extending back 50,000 years.
Trackable waste
Includes environmentally damaging materials listed in Schedule 2E of the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008. Not all trackable wastes are regulated and not all regulated wastes are trackable.
Volatile Organic compounds
A large group of carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature. Many VOCs are human-made chemicals that are used and produced in the manufacture of paints, adhesives, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, and refrigerants.
Woody vegetation
Vegetation for which the ecologically dominant stratum is composed of trees or shrubs.
Last updated
10 July 2017