Key findings

In a rapidly changing climate, with unsustainable development and use of resources, the general outlook for our environment is deteriorating

Immediate action with innovative management and collaboration can turn things around

  • Adequately resourced, innovative, responsive and collaborative management measures will foster investment and renewed action to turn things around. Australia currently lacks a framework that delivers holistic environmental management to integrate our disconnected legislative and institutional national, state and territory systems, and break down existing barriers to stimulate new models and partnerships for innovative environmental management and financing.
  • Climate change is continuing and is increasing the impacts of other pressures on our environment. Immediate global action to reduce carbon emissions would result in reduced pressures and improved trajectories for most aspects of our environment.
  • Australian individuals, communities, nongovernment organisations and businesses are engaging with nature and supporting biodiversity and heritage. Successful on-ground actions include the work of Indigenous rangers, citizen science, and restoration actions at many scales, providing opportunities that deliver benefits for people and Country. Urban planners and governments are recognising the need for change and a more collaborative, whole-of-system approach, with place-based outcomes that can build greater resilience and regenerate our urban areas.
  • Substantial data about the environment are becoming more available. Over the past 6 years, the National Environmental Science Program and the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy have become important sources of information for state of the environment reporting, and have provided critical funding for research informing policy and on-ground management of the environment. Better coordination of data and the introduction of national environmental standards will provide a direct mechanism for agreement between all jurisdictions, leading to improved environmental reporting at all levels. There is also a clear need to empower Indigenous communities to manage the culturally appropriate collection and integration of data.

Indigenous knowledge and connections to Country are vital for sustainability and healing Australia

Environmental decline affects the wellbeing of Australians