National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development

Prepared by the Ecologically Sustainable Development Steering Committee
Endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments
December, 1992
ISBN 0 644 27253 8

Natural Resource and Environment Information
Part 3 Intersectoral Issues - Chapter 14


To improve the collection, coordination and dissemination of natural resource information and environmental information, and of data systems.

Strategic Approach

Efforts will focus on improving data collections and coordination, maximising the availability and use of existing data and activities, clearly identifying user needs and coordinating activities between different levels of government to avoid overlap and duplication.

Objective 14.1

  • to establish a decision-making framework for the development, enhancement and management of natural resource data systems

Governments will:

  • continue to support, enhance and improve intergovernmental and inter-agency coordination of natural resources information through existing arrangements such as the Australian Surveying and Land Information Group, the Australia New Zealand Land Information Council, the National Resource Information Centre, the Australian Geological Survey Organisation, Environmental Resources Information Network, the Australian Bureau of Resource Science, National Forest Inventory, Commonwealth Spatial Data Committee and the Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • ensure action under Schedule 1 of the IGAE outlining governments agreement to develop a national approach to the collection and handling of environmental data, and to make data more accessible to users
  • evaluate user needs in relation to the many potential data acquisition activities, as a means of making data more accessible to all spheres of government and non-government organisations

Objective 14.2

  • to enhance the quality, accessibility and relevance of ESD-related data

Governments will:

  • continue work on conceptual issues underlying the long-term development of satellite or supplementary accounts to the Australian National Accounts
  • review the national and sector balance sheets to the Australian National Accounts
  • encourage further work on the enhancement of social and equity indicators which can be integrated with environment, economic and ESD indicators
  • work towards improving data and mechanisms for valuing the household sector and the contribution of unpaid work to the national economy, including developing mechanisms for including this information as part of full resource accounting
  • request the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in conjunction with ABARE and the Industry Commission, to develop an initial set of sustainability indicators for ESD, including indicators which would enable Australia to measure the gender impacts of ESD policies and actions
  • introduce regular national state of the environment reporting, including taking into consideration the impact of climatic variability on environmental indicators, and encourage further work on state of the aquatic environment reporting
  • cooperate in developing analysis/information technologies and systems for optimising the use of natural resource databases, as well as using these technologies, systems and databases in pursuit of ESD
  • improve broader community access to international literature and data
  • through the Bureau of Meteorology, seek to strengthen meteorological support for ESD in the various industry sectors subject to the influence of weather and climate
  • encourage continued strengthening of the national meteorological infrastructure within the framework of international initiatives such as the Global Observing System and other follow-up to UNCED 1992