Science underpins all our work. It helps us connect and involve the community in evidence-based decision making to deliver better outcomes for all Victorians.

Science at DELWP is a process of discovery. We collect empirical and measurable evidence. We formulate and test explanations, so we better understand our natural and built environment. We use science to develop innovative technologies, products, processes and services that inform policy, operations and service delivery.

We are committed to using world class research as evidence to enable us to deliver our priority outcomes of a healthy, resilient and biodiverse environment, productive and effective land management, safe and sustainable water resources and a reduced impact of major bushfire and other emergencies on people, property and the environment.

Our research helps us understand the biophysical impacts of a changing climate in Victoria, such as:

  • water variability
  • increased bushfire threat
  • new pest and disease threats
  • population growth, and the resulting urban expansion
  • increased urban forest interface and infrastructure development
  • bushfire and emergency management reform and a risk-based approach to fuel management
  • changes in the way the community values and uses public land
  • innovations in spatial and information technology, including social media.

The learning that is inspired our long history of science investment identifies new avenues of research and scientific endeavour. Our strong commitment to knowledge and learning ensures that we continue to improve our capacity to deliver critical government policy directions such as Safer Together.


The importance of such learning is emphasised in the Code of Practice for Bushfire Management on Public Land 2012 (PDF, 715.9 KB) and the recommendations of the Royal Commission into the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.

To become more effective at learning we have developed a bushfire science strategy:

The strategy guides science investment through focusing on three strategy areas:

  • policy driven investment management
  • portfolio structure and flexibility
  • knowledge translation.

Science partnerships

We invest externally in bushfire science, mainly through partnership arrangements with the following research organisations:

We also funds a range of other organisations to undertake research.

Science reports

We have a rich history of investing in applied bushfire science both internally and externally, and have published this work in a series of reports.

Originally called Fire Research Reports (from 1977 - 2004) these are now Fire and Adaptive Management Reports (from 2008).

The reports address the themes below.

Social researchBiological researchPhysical research theme
Community - understanding, impacts and valuesHazard  management
Ecosystem, monitoring and resilience
Pine plantations - fuels and planned burning
Smoke modelling
Bushfire management
Aircraft and fire retardant

We also publish an annual catalogue of our current research, including describing how we will use it to learn and improve.

The Forests and Fire Science Catalogue 2019-20 includes a brief overview of our science investment across seven themes and five topical case studies that demonstrate the impact of science evidence on how we deliver.

Bushfires and Knowledge: FFRG Science Catalogue 2019-20 (PDF, 3.2 MB)

Bushfires and Knowledge: FFRG Science Catalogue 2019-20 (DOCX, 106.4 KB)

For more detailed information about current projects listed in the Science Catalogue, please see a list of available project fact sheets below.

For accessible versions of the catalogue or fact sheets contact us directing your enquiry to the Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Unit in the Forest, Fire and Regions Group, and quote the fact sheet you require.

Project Fact Sheets

Page last updated: 29/12/23