SoE 2016 content and processes
SoE 2016 follows the structure of SoE 2011. This section describes the contents and framework of the reports and the approach used to make assessments.
SoE 2016 reports
SoE 2016 comprises a suite of reports:
- Overview is a synopsis of all the material included in SoE 2016, including the SoE 2016 drivers paper and 9 thematic reports. It highlights what has changed over the past 5 years, explores the main pressures and risks facing Australia's environment today and provides an overall outlook for our environment. This document was tabled in Parliament in early 2017.
- Drivers is an examination of the main factors that generate the pressures on the environment, particularly those associated with changes in population and economic activity. The drivers report provides context for the pressures detailed in each of the thematic reports.
- Thematic reports (see below).
- Approach is an outline of the context and approach used to develop SoE 2016, including legislative requirements and details on the methodologies used to conduct the assessments presented in each of the thematic reports.
- Peer review is a description of the principles and processes relating to the process of peer review of the thematic reports. It documents the key issues that were raised by the reviewers of drafts of each thematic report and how this feedback was addressed and incorporated into the final versions of each of the thematic reports.
The 9 thematic reports represent biogeographic or conceptual aspects of the Australian environment. Each thematic report follows a common framework (See SoE 2016 framework). ‘Key findings’, ‘At a glance’ sections and assessment summaries condense the wealth of material presented in each thematic report to support understanding and use of information. The 9 reports comprise:
- Atmosphere, which considers changes to Australia’s atmosphere, particularly greenhouse gas emissions and climate change and their effects on Australian environment, as well as ambient air quality.
- Built environment, which considers the impacts of population and economic growth, and climate change on Australia’s urban environments, and issues of strategic management across jurisdictions in a time of change.
- Heritage, which considers the extent and condition of Australia’s rich natural, Indigenous, and cultural heritage, the threats each faces from natural and human processes, and the challenges of management.
- Biodiversity, which considers the condition of Australia’s living resources and highlights the challenges of management in the context of human dependence on biodiversity for ecosystem services.
- Land, which considers the state of our soil and terrestrial vegetation resources, the pressures they face, and issues and priorities for management.
- Inland water, which considers the evolving state of surface and groundwater resources in the world’s driest inhabitable continent, in the context of the breaking of a major drought and ongoing water policy reform.
- Coasts, which considers features of the interface between the ocean and land, the challenges to coasts posed by climate change and ongoing coastal development, and management responses to pressures on our coastlines.
- Marine environment, which considers the condition of Australia’s oceanic habitats, communities and species group; the existing pressures on our marine environments and current management.
- Antarctic environment, which considers the global importance and evolving state of the Antarctic environment, the ongoing changes to marine and terrestrial ecosystems resulting from human activity, and the significance of climate change in the region.
SoE 2016 contains data and information up to 30 June 2016, except where otherwise noted. It is acknowledged that there have been a number of recent developments between this date and the publication of SoE 2016, however these were not always able to be included in the report (see Information and data).