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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Environment Australia Annual Report 2001-02

Environment Australia, 2002
ISSN 1441-9335

Appendix 1
Ecologically Sustainable Development and Environmental Performance

  1. How the activities of the organisation, and the administration of legislation by the organisation, accord with the principles of ecologically sustainable development (section 516A(6)(a))
  2. How the outcomes specified in a relevant Appropriations Act contribute to ecologically sustainable development (section 516A(6)(b))
  3. Effect of the organisation's activities on the environment (section 516A(6)(c))
  4. Measures being taken by the organisation to minimise the impact of its activities on the environment (section 516A(6)(d))
  5. Mechanisms, if any, for reviewing and increasing the effectiveness of these measures (section 516A(6)(e))

The following is a summary of activities by Environment Australia in 2001-02 in accordance with section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. The complete section 516A report is on Environment Australia's web site at www.ea.gov.au

1. How the activities of the organisation, and the administration of legislation by the organisation, accord with the principles of ecologically sustainable development (section 516A(6)(a))

Activities which generally recognise and promote ecologically sustainable development, such as:

Activities which integrate environmental, social, economic and equitable consideration, such as:

Activities which employ, or promote the use of the precautionary principle, such as:

Activities which aim to promote conservation of the environment for the benefit of future generations, such as:

Activities which ensure that biodiversity and ecological integrity are fundamental to decision-making, such as:

Activities which aim to improve valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms, such as:

2. How the outcomes specified in a relevant Appropriations Act contribute to ecologically sustainable development (section 516A(6)(b))

The Environment and Heritage portfolio's role is to achieve three major outcomes for the Commonwealth Government. The outcomes are:

  1. the environment, especially those aspects that are matters of national environmental significance, is protected and conserved;
  2. Australia benefits from meteorological and related science and services; and
  3. Australia's interests in Antarctica are advanced.

Outcome 1
contributes directly to ecologically sustainable development by protecting and conserving the environment, with its major focus on threats that are serious enough to be of national significance. Thus it contributes to protecting biodiversity and ecological systems and to maintaining the health, diversity and productivity of the environment for future generations. Outputs which deliver the ecologically sustainable development aspects of Outcome 1 are discussed in section 1 above on how Environment Australia's activities accord with the principles of ecologically sustainable development.

Outcome 2
does not explicitly contribute to ecologically sustainable development, although the information outputs which deliver this outcome may contribute to ecologically sustainable development.

Outcome 3
does not explicitly contribute to ecologically sustainable development, but one of the goals of the Australian Antarctic Division is to protect the Antarctic environment, the Southern Ocean and the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands, including by developing ways to minimise human impact, remediating past work sites, administering environmental legislation, developing policy and undertaking research. It thus contributes to ecologically sustainable development by providing information which enables biodiversity conservation and ecological systems to be considered in decision-making, and by protecting the health and diversity of the Antarctic environment for future generations.

3. Effect of the organisation's activities on the environment (section 516A(6)(c))

Environment Australia's mission of 'national leadership in the protection and conservation of the environment' ensures that the effect on the environment of most of its activities, including policies, programmes and administration of legislation, is a positive one. Positive effects of Environment Australia's activities on the environment in 2001-02 are detailed throughout this annual report.

In the course of its normal daily operations, Environment Australia also contributes to a range of negative impacts on the environment through its use of electricity, petrol, water, paper and other materials consumed and through its generation of waste. Measures to address these negative impacts are noted in section 4 below.

4. Measures being taken by the organisation to minimise the impact of its activities on the environment (section 516A(6)(d))

Through a structured Environmental Management System, which has been certified to the international standard ISO 14001, Environment Australia monitors a range of its operational activities including energy management, transport (departmental fleet), waste management, purchasing and water management. The system provides a framework for considering and minimising environmental impacts within the context of continual improvement.

Significant achievements include:

Additionally, Environment Australia:

5. Mechanisms, if any, for reviewing and increasing the effectiveness of these measures (section 516A(6)(e))

The Environmental Management System and the Bureau of Meteorology's energy usage database provide a framework for measuring the effectiveness of actions taken to minimise Environment Australia's negative environmental impacts and for considering and addressing environmental impacts within the context of continual improvement.