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The Victorian mountain ash forest has been severely affected by fires and logging. To determine the actual health of the forest, we need to look at the quality, not just the quantity of what remains. Graeme/flickr

Why we are measuring the health of Australian vegetation poorly

In the aftermath of fires or logging, conservation needs to focus on recovering the health of the remaining vegetation, not just the size of the forest or woodland.
If more people live in the Adelaide Hills, they are more likely to be exposed to bushfires. David Mariuz/AAP

Natural hazard risk: is it just going to get worse or can we do something about it?

What decisions can we make today to reduce the future risk of hazards like floods and fire? Particularly in a time of climate change, modelling various plausible futures helps us plan for uncertainty.
Poorly resourced small towns like Marysville often struggle to recover from disasters like the Black Saturday bushfires. Andrew Brownbill/AAP

We can learn a lot from disasters, and we now know some areas don’t recover

Rebuilding small communities on the same site in the same way seldom works. It’s not about getting back to where you were, but rather grasping the opportunity to create a more resilient place.
Tasmania’s bushfires damaged pristine bushland and stretched emergency services to the limit. AAP Image/Patrick Caruana

Was Tasmania’s summer of fires and floods a glimpse of its climate future?

This summer has seen Tasmania suffer through drought, bushfires, floods and the worst marine heatwave on record. Is this what life under a climate-changed future will be like?

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