Prof Richard Mackay has been appointed as the heritage theme author for the 2016 Commonwealth State of the Environment (SOE 2016) report.
State of the Environment reports are tabled in the Australian Parliament every five years. They review the state and trends of the environment; pressures and the drivers which affect the environment; management initiatives which address environmental concerns, resilience risks and threats; and provide an overall outlook for the Australian environment.
The main purpose of the SOE report is to provide information on environmental issues to the community and to both government and non-government decision-makers, in order to raise awareness and support well-informed environmental management decisions that lead to more sustainable use and effective conservation.
Richard was responsible for the heritage chapter of the SOE 2011 report, in which an innovative set of ‘scorecards’, used to measure and present the state, condition and management effectiveness for both natural and cultural heritage were used for the first time.
SOE 2011 found that:
Our extraordinary and diverse natural and cultural heritage is currently in good condition, but is threatened by natural and human processes, and a lack of public sector resourcing.
The issues identified by Richard in the heritage chapter of SOE 2011 have informed and directed the development of a new Australian Heritage Strategy, which was exhibited in draft form in 2014.
For SOE 2016 the same ‘scorecard’ approach will be adopted, to provide a picture of key trends, as well as highlighting areas which warrant policy development of additional resources.
Richard and the other theme authors; (atmosphere, biodiversity, built environment, coasts, inland water, land, marine environment and Antarctica); are writing ‘analysis and scoping’ papers which will identify what has changed and how updated information can be a gathered at a national scale, allowing for measurement and evaluation of the state of Australia’s natural and cultural environment.
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