Forest Watch Australia

Forest Watch Australia | Resources | Training | Report a Pest

Safeguarding our forests

Overseas pests, global travel and trade have led to new pest establishments threatening Australia’s forests and urban trees.


  • losing our iconic gum trees or wattles
  • our city streets and parks with sick and dying trees
  • having to import our timber unsustainably from overseas.

Stakeholders concerned about the risks posed by exotic pests to Australia’s trees, have formed a partnership across governments, industry and community groups to establish the Forest Watch Australia program.


Native forests Urban plantings Plantations

Forest Watch Australia

The Forest Watch Australia program supports surveillance and training activities to enable the early detection of exotic pests that pose significant risks to our urban, natural and commercial forests. It involves:

Pathway risk analyses

Information and data on entry pathways into Australia is used to model and identify areas of highest risk for entry or establishment of exotic forest and tree pests.

Surveillance in high-risk areas

Surveillance around the high-risk areas, previously identified through pathways analysis, maximises opportunities for early detection of exotic pests. Such areas may include ports, airports, import facilities, botanic gardens and tourist attractions.

Capacity building

Training the next generation of experts

Annual expert training workshops for surveillance staff delivering the program, aim to build and maintain expert-level knowledge in forest pest surveillance and diagnostics.

Enabling stakeholder participation

Training of tree stakeholders (e.g., Local council staff, arborists, foresters) and community groups is designed to increase awareness of tree health pests and rates of pest reporting. This is achieved through:

  • Annual stakeholder training workshops (see Training)
  • Online forest pest training (see Training)
  • Pest Factsheets (see Resources)
  • MyPestGuide® Trees / Reporter – a mobile-based pest field guide and reporting tool (see Report a Pest)

Benefits of the Program

  • Improved chances of early detection and eradication
  • Enhanced national forest pest surveillance capacity and capability
  • Nationally coordinated information and training
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem resilience maintained
  • Maintained or increased amenity and economic values across stakeholders
  • Reduced economic risks to Australia’s $22B/year forest sector and its 70,000 employees
  • Increased sharing of responsibility for forest biosecurity and surveillance across all stakeholders
  • Ongoing savings through avoidance of new pest management costs
  • Reduced costs for surveillance and R&D activities for each stakeholder through a partnership approach.


Surveillance Manager, Plant Health Australia, Rohan Burgess

Forest Biosecurity Manager, Australian Forest Products Association, Paco Tovar


Forest Watch Australia is supported by: