1 Approach | 1.4 Quality Assurance
State of the Environment 2011 Committee. Australia state of the environment 2011.
Independent report to the Australian Government Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
Canberra: DSEWPaC, 2011.
The SoE 2011 Committee is an independent committee of experts who used the best available evidence and extensive consultation to produce a robust, peer-reviewed report that is rigorous and highly credible.
The report presents assessments of the current state or condition of the environment, the pressures on it, and its management, resilience, risks and outlook. The best available information has been used as much as possible to inform the report, select assessment components and determine grades for status and trends with as much certainty as possible. Information has been used from a wide range of data sources (referenced in the report), and from extensive consultations with experts in a variety of scientific disciplines across Australia. In many cases, workshops were held with experts to gather evidence and information, discuss issues and gauge opinion.
The authors have indicated the strength of the evidence and consensus for their conclusions within each set of assessments (see Box 1.2 in Section 3.1).
Independent peer review was used to validate and strengthen the content of the report and supplementary technical reports (available on the SoE website). Independent reviewers were asked to provide an anonymous and objective assessment identifying unfounded assertions, omissions of relevant data or analyses, and issues with methodology, clarity or objectiveness. More than 40 commissioned external peers reviewed chapter drafts and supplementary materials. Each chapter was reviewed by at least three independent peers selected on the basis of their relevant expertise. Details of the peer-review process, comments from peer reviewers and responses from the SoE 2011 Committee on how feedback was incorporated into improving the chapters are available on the SoE websiteb.
Data has been sourced from the most credible sources available. Before peer review, major data providers were asked to review components of chapters related to their contributions to ensure the accuracy of information presented.