Friday, March 2, 2012

State of the Environment 2011 -- Australia

State of the Environment 2011
Independent report to the Australian Government Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Australian State of the Environment Committee, Authors.

The 2011 State of the Environment (SoE) report aims to give Australians the best possible and clearest answers to three basic questions:

  • What is the current condition of the Australian environment?
  • What are the risks the Australian environment faces and are we doing enough to protect it?
  • Where is the Australian environment headed?

Much of Australia's environment and heritage is in good shape, or improving. Other parts are in poor condition or deteriorating. Some of the pressures on our environment arise from past decisions (or even just bad luck) that have left an ongoing legacy of impact. Our changing climate, and growing population and economy are now confronting us with new challenges.

The consequences of our past environmental and heritage management are reflected in a number of environment indicators that continue to cause concern. Introductions of feral animals and weeds, widespread land clearing, the drainage of wetlands, intensive harvesting of fish stocks and a host of other past actions will continue to exert pressures on our environment regardless of environmental policies and management that now prohibit or minimise such actions, and regardless of our management of the drivers of climate change, and growing population and economy. For example, if we did not add one more person or business to the nation, the ongoing impacts of feral goats, rabbits, cane toads, land clearing and vegetation dieback would continue to be significant.






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