As part of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability’s leading work applying the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to environmental reporting in Victoria, we have a project underway demonstrating how to build on United Nations Sustainable Development frameworks and policy to operationalise the SDGs at the local level.

We are currently working on the State of the Marine and Coastal Environment 2021 Report, which will report against 87 indicators – all of which are aligned with SDG targets. We know that a subset of these indicators will be particularly relevant for all coastal local management authorities, uniformly across Victoria’s coast.

Agreeing on local, uniform indicators is a priority in this reporting cycle and this month we have commenced a series of engagement activities to determine a subset of these 87 marine and coastal indicators.

We held our first SDG Indicators workshop for Victorian stakeholders back in February 2018; and this consultation process has become a fundamental way that we effectively apply the SDGs to environmental reporting in Victoria.

Since the first SDGs workshop opened by The Hon Lily D'Ambrosio MP Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, work with the Commissioner’s Reference Group and diverse stakeholders across Victoria is ongoing with a focus on policy coherence, partnerships and information flow to apply the SDGs for ‘state of’ environment reporting.


Determining local, uniform indicators through codesign and collaboration

On Wednesday 26 May 2021, we delivered our ‘Uniform local indicators for the State of Marine and Coastal Environment 2021 Report Workshop' in collaboration with The Royal Society of Victoria. Minister D’Ambrosio provided an opening address outlining continued support for this work locally.

The workshop opened by the Minister, the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio, brought together coastal managers from a range of organisations, including catchment management authorities, local councils, Department of Environment Land Water and Planning, Parks Victoria and a range of non-government organisations, volunteers including Landcare and CoastCare volunteers, as well as community, to determine the subset of the 87 indicators that uniformly apply, for coastal managers across Victoria.


Workshop attendees for Uniform Local Indicators SMCE 2021 Report

“What does not get measured, does not get managed” - workshop participant
I liked the quote from Gill: “thanks for having a go”. She thanked everyone for their participation and engagement today stating that “It is hard deciding on the critical few, not the important many, for local management”. - Anthony Boxshall on LinkedIn
Photo of Dr Gilian Sparkes, Uniform Local Indicators SMCE 2021 Report Workshop

“If we can understand more around what is happening at the local level – it can assist us in how we make recommendations. We are very interested in how we can do this better.” - Dr Gillian Sparkes


Data from this latest workshop, will be used in the State of the Marine and Coastal Environment 2021 Report.

These important uniform local indicators will both inform local management practices - areas where action can make a big difference for the environment - as well as contributing to state level reporting, without additional monitoring requirements.

In this way we are tracking against the SDGs at a subnational level and managing against the SDGs locally. This is critical, by adaptively managing against the SDGs with deliberate interventions – we are not just reporting against them.

The whole system, in theory, should be talking to each other – bottom up and top down - and in that way we can ultimately move as one towards Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.

An ongoing focus for us is policy coherence, partnerships and information flow to apply the SDGs for ‘state of’ environment reporting.

Discover more about the Commissioner’s approach localising the SDGs.

Quick fact

Did you know that Victoria is one of only two jurisdictions in Australia (the other being the ACT) with an independent Commissioner charged with periodic State of the Environment reporting? Read about Victoria’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability.


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