Framework for 2018 State of the Environment Report: State & Benefit

From the Commissioner

A plan to change the way the Victorian Government reports on the state of our environment will see the five-yearly report move toward digital reporting while also making the State’s many environmental reports comparable by introducing statewide indicators.

Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability Dr Gillian Sparkes said the framework for the 2018 State of the Environment Report, tabled in the Victorian Parliament this weeksets out a pathway to reporting reform.

“The Framework for the 2018 State of the Environment Report is called State and Benefit as it will not only report on the state of Victoria’s environment, it will also report on the benefits we derive from a healthy eco-system,” Dr Sparkes said.

“The long-term goal of environmental reporting is to inform community, policy and decision making to improve environmental outcomes and ultimately protect and enhance the benefits we obtain from our environment.

“As Victoria’s population and economy continue to grow it is increasingly important that we understand both the state of our natural environment and the benefits we derive from it,”Dr Sparkes said

As the first steps in a longer-term reform the State and Benefit Framework focuses on three critical aspects during this reporting cycle to 2018:

·         providing accurate information when Victorians need it – the evidence base of future reporting will be on line, with the 2018 SoE being the first step toward providing information in a digital format

·         commence aligning Victoria’s environmental reporting efforts by demonstrating a consistency between key Victorian environmental reports and the next Victorian SoE

·         establishing a set of statewide environmental indicators to be used across a range of reports - while also undertaking a data gap analysis and advocating for improvements

“The 2018 State of the Environment Report will also report on climate change impact and adaptation indicators and will align with international frameworks - the United Nation’s (UN) System of Environmental Economic Accounts (SEEA) and the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Dr Sparkes said..

“The transition to digital reporting will, in the longer term, allow us to harness citizen science and assist individuals and communities to better develop their own perspectives based  on what the science tells them.”