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Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 2003-04

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2004
ISSN 1441 9335

Management and accountability (continued)

Environmental reporting

Data identified by the Department's State of the Environment team is used to inform policy advice and monitor progress on environmental protection.

2006 State of the Environment Report

The Minister appointed an independent Australian State of the Environment 2006 Committee in March 2004. By the end of June 2004 the Committee had finished scoping the Australian State of the Environment 2006 Report, and the preparatory process for the report was well under way.

Sustainability reporting

The Department commenced scoping data sources for a second report against the National Headline Sustainability Indicators, which is expected in 2006 or 2007.

Sustainability indicators relate economic, social and environmental factors to provide integrated information about how a nation, region, sector or activity is performing in achieving the goals and objectives of sustainable development. The 2001 publication Are We Sustaining Australia: A Report Against Headline Sustainability Indicators for Australia was Australia's first report on national performance against the core objectives of the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development, measured against a set of 24 sustainability indicators (see www.deh.gov.au/esd/national/indicators/report ). Comparing successive sets of indicators will help to determine Australia's progress towards sustainability.

Environmental Resources Information Network

The Environmental Resources Information Network (also referred to as 'ERIN') continued to develop and coordinate key environmental information products. Improved spatial and computing infrastructure allowed better integration of environmental data across the Department and enhanced support for the operation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The Department's web sites and Internet map services improved the delivery of environmental information to the public including the development and launch of the Used Oil Recycling Directory, improvement of the National Pollutant Inventory web site, and enhancements to the online Australian Natural Resources Atlas.

ERIN also provided expert technical services including remote sensing analysis to support a successful prosecution of the Gwydir Wetlands case under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (see also the report on the operation of this Act in this annual report).

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