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

Research, Development and Demonstration
Part 3 Intersectoral Issues - Chapter 30


To provide the knowledge, techniques and technologies needed to achieve the goals of ESD in all sectors, as well as in addressing intersectoral issues.

Strategic Approach

Governments will work to ensure that relevant RD& D supports the sectoral and intersectoral objectives of the Strategy. Governments will seek cooperation between sectors, institutions and disciplines in adopting a whole-systems approach to ESD-related RD& D, particularly in addressing intersectoral issues.

Objective 30.1

  • to incorporate consideration of ESD objectives into RD& D planning and priority setting

Governments will:

  • in approaching this objective build on current activities in the first place
  • work through the Coordination Committee on Science and Technology and the Joint Meeting of Science and Technology Advisory Bodies of Australia and New Zealand to encourage research funding and performing agencies to incorporate ESD into their missions, and to include where appropriate as a criterion for RD& D priority setting, the contribution to ESD objectives
  • encourage all RD& D performing and funding agencies to report on ESD-related RD& D activities in their annual reports
  • consider selecting persons to serve on boards of RD& D performing and funding bodies for on the basis of their expertise in conservation and resource management

Objective 30.2

  • to establish effective communication channels between RD& D advisers, funders, performers and users concerning ESD-related RD& D activities

Government will:

  • ask the Chief Scientist to convene a consultative group, including representatives nominated by each government
  • work through the consultative group to share information on ESD objectives as criteria for RD& D priority setting and to discuss overall priorities, particularly in regard to intersectoral ESD issues
  • work through the consultative group to emphasise the need for a whole-systems approach to ESD-related RD& D, and reinforce the coordination needed in planning and conducting RD& D directed at intersectoral ESD issues

Objective 30.3

  • to encourage existing public sector funders and performers to cooperate in the type of multi-disciplinary inter-institutional RD& D needed to address intersectoral ESD issues

Governments will:

  • examine the adequacy of current funding mechanisms to provide the RD& D needed for a whole-systems approach to intersectoral ESD issues
  • work through the consultative group to seek improvements to these funding mechanisms where necessary, including the potential for an elective cooperative intersectoral ESD RD& D program

Objective 30.4

  • to improve the consistency and comparability of environmental data

Governments will:

  • continue efforts being made through the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment and such bodies as the Commonwealth Spatial Data Committee to coordinate standards and enhance accessibility for environmental data
  • support research directed at improving inventories of fauna and flora of Australia in the context of ESD

Objective 30.5

  • to address broader intersectoral ESD issues through RD& D

Governments will:

  • continue to support RD& D directed at improving understanding of the natural variability of climate, the possible impacts of climate change, and to identify cost-effective mitigation options to encourage the integration of technical, economic and social research in this context
  • continue research to develop and implement national integrated policies for biodiversity, including research into natural ecosystems and the development of indicators of ecological sustainability
  • encourage RD& D efforts in regard to waste management

Objective 30.6

  • to address sectoral ESD issues through RD& D

Governments will:

  • continue to support and encourage RD& D in the following fields:
    • integrated approaches to pest management through combining biological, chemical and cultural control measures
    • conservation of aquatic habitats
    • energy efficiency in the transport, energy production and energy use sectors
  • encourage cooperative RD& D efforts which include environmental research, where this influences the development of the forest based industries, sustainable forestry practices and the further processing of forest products
  • through the ESD the integrated measurement of economic, social and environmental performance, and international developments in sustainability indicators; and draft a list of indicators for consideration