Looking At Landcare – 17/3/2017

The Australia State of the Environment (SoE) 2016 Overview was tabled in Parliament on 7 March 2017.

Every five years the Australian Government conducts a comprehensive review for the state of the Australian environment.

The SoE 2016 is a follow up report to SoE 2011, which took a new approach to the scope and depth of reporting and provided a baseline for future comparisons. The current SoE report continues the assessment of pressures, condition and trends. It discusses the risk and resilience and future projections that were tabled in the 2011 report.

There have been some changes to the away that this information is provided in the new report, with an interactive digital platform which will provide greater flexibility for decision-makers, researchers and the public to explore and discover information.

For those that love statistics and are really interested in looking at comparisons, this platform allows you to compare findings with the previous assessment, search for trends in assessments, interact with over 300 maps and graphs, filter content by theme, trend, topic, grade or reporting framework and access the data that underpins the graphs and maps.

In summary, the new report suggests that over the past five years (2011–16), environmental policies and management practices in Australia have achieved improvements in the state and trends of parts of the Australian environment. Australia’s built environment, natural and cultural heritage, and marine and Antarctic environments are generally in good condition.

Areas where the environment is poor and/or deteriorating include more populated coastal areas and some growth areas within urban environments, where human pressure is greatest. It also talks about extensive land-use-zone of Australia where grazing is considered a threat to biodiversity.

If not managed well, drivers can generate pressures that have immediate and long-term negative consequences for the environment. If managed well, however, drivers can be harnessed to achieve environmental benefits.

As with the 2011 report, the main pressures facing the Australian environment today are the same, with climate change, land-use change, habitat fragmentation and degradation, and invasive species being the key concerns.

Evidence has shown that since 2011, some pressures on the environment have decreased, such as those associated with air quality, poor agricultural practices, commercial fishing, and oil and gas exploration and production in Australia’s marine environment.

Unfortunately, there is always the flip-side and during the same time, other pressures have increased, including those associated with coal mining and the coal-seam gas industry, habitat fragmentation and degradation, invasive species, litter in our coastal and marine environments, and greater traffic volumes in our capital cities.

If you are interested in finding out more, I will have the link on our blog and facebook. You can download a copy in PDF form and also download the data, check out who contributed to the report or just have a look.

If you are keen to get out and enjoy some of the environment that the report is keeping a check on, the National Parks Association walk on 18 March, which covers the Bumberry Dam to Lake Endeavour Loop. This is an easy 8km walk.

Also a last reminder for the upcoming Back Yamma Landcare Annual General Meeting on 23 March. If you have been involved in the past or would love to find out more, join us for breaky at 7am, followed by the AGM at 8am. RSVP to Gavin or Elly at gaveltom@hotmail.com or 0428 621 075.

For further information on the services and contacts listed above, follow the links on our website at centralwestlachlanlandcare.org, facebook or on 02 6862 4914. Until next week, happy Landcaring!