Independent report to the Australian Government Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
Australian State of the Environment Committee, Authors
(2011 Australian State of the Environment Committee), 2011
Letter of Transmittal
It is with great pleasure that I, on behalf of the independent State of the Environment 2011 Committee, present the fourth national assessment of the state of Australia’s environment.
Australia state of the environment 2011 builds on 15 years of experience in national reporting on the state of the environment and, for the first time in Australian national state of the environment reporting, includes graded 'report-card style' assessments, discussions of risk and resilience, and future outlooks.
In addition to meeting the requirements of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, this report aims to give Australians the best, clearest possible answers to three questions:
- What is the current condition of the Australian environment?
- What are the risks the Australian environment faces and are we doing enough to protect it?
- Where is the Australian environment headed?
The report finds that much of Australia's diverse environment and heritage is in largely good or improving condition, and identifies aspects of the environment where the current condition is poor or deteriorating. Our changing climate, and our growing population and economy are now confronting us with new challenges. Our approach to managing these challenges will directly influence the future condition of the Australian environment.
It is our hope that this report will increase community awareness and understanding of Australia's environmental issues and assist decision-makers to determine priorities and make national and regional policy and management decisions that improve Australian environmental outcomes.
I commend the report to you and, through you, to the people of Australia.
Dr Tom Hatton
State of the Environment 2011 Committee