Environmental Resources Information Network (ERIN)
The Environmental Resources Information Network (ERIN) aims to strengthen the environmental information evidence-base accessible to the Department and its stakeholders, bringing together departmental priorities for environmental information and research, and adding value to high priority activities by providing environmental and spatial information products, advice, analysis and tools.
ERIN’s role is to strengthen the Department’s:
- evidence-based analytical capability - ensuring evidence is available and interpreted to inform policy development, programme delivery and outcome evaluation;
- delivery of high quality information and reporting about the ‘state of’ the environment and pressures on it, including headline environmental indicators to improve visibility of trends in the environment to inform decision-making at local-to-national scales;
- directing investment in research, data and information acquisition to address priorities and gaps, and leading open access information reforms.
In addition ERIN plays a fundamental role in spatially enabling the department’s information and systems through the provision of spatial tools, analysis and advice and in doing so improving the integration, use and reporting of information across business functions and the outcomes of the department.
The Prime Minister's Environmental Statement of July 1989 announced the establishment of an Environmental Resources Information Network (ERIN) within the then Arts, Sport, Environment, Tourism and Territories portfolio "to draw together, upgrade and supplement information on the distribution of endangered species, vegetation types and heritage sites".
This announcement followed earlier announcements in 1988 of a series of conservation and resource development initiatives including the National Forest Inventory, the National Resource Information Centre, and the Resource Assessment Commission and was directly preceded by a general review of existing environmental databases and their availability to Australian Government decision-makers by the environment Minister at the time.
This original ERIN "Programme" was set up as a three year pilot programme which was formally launched on 31 August 1992.
Since 1992, ERIN has built on that original intent to address the broader environmental information needs of the environment Department and Australian Government. While still having the same fundamentals, the nature of ERIN has changed in line with the maturing needs of government, the changing nature of data availability and with advancing technology and analysis techniques.