Victoria is a national leader in reporting on the state of the environment. The Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability Act 2003 established Victoria’s first Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability to:
- report on the condition of Victoria’s natural environment
- encourage decision making that facilitates ecologically sustainable development
- enhance knowledge and understanding of issues relating to ecologically sustainable development and the environment
- encourage the Victorian Government and local governments to adopt sound environmental practices and procedures.
To meet these objectives, the Commissioner prepares a State of the Environment Report (SOE Report) every five years.
Reporting on the environment
Regular environmental reporting is an important way to understand how our local environment works and to track its health over time.
The Commissioner works with scientists to collect, examine and provide the data upon which the reports are based.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Geoscience Australia and the Victorian State Government departments and agencies, enables a comprehensive understanding of the state’s environment.
The monitoring and fieldwork involved in environmental science may span decades and can promote and reflect community partnerships. Scientific research can suggest innovative ways to monitor and manage activities that impact on the environment.
As our understanding of complex environmental issues has become more sophisticated, methods to approach reporting have evolved. The State and Benefit framework provides an overarching guide to the production of the 2018 State of the Environment report.
Reporting for the public
The Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability strongly supports transparency, engagement and impact within the community. The move towards digital reporting reflects a necessity to communicate environmental science with every Victorian.
Since the landmark State of the Bays 2016, each report produced by the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability will be translated into an accessible, interpretive digital format, aimed at a readership which spans schoolchildren to retirees.