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.
This report was produced by the SoE 2011 Committee (Box 1.1), with support from the Australian Antarctic Division and the Information Management Division of the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC). The eight members of the committee were appointed in 2009 by the then Minister for the Environment. Each member was selected based on their scientific credibility, leadership capabilities, research and writing experience, networking and communication skills, and awareness of national environmental policy and decision-making contexts.
The committee worked together to determine a list of reporting themes and an appropriate structure and approach for the report and assessments, and to develop and present the overall messages of the report. Each member of the committee led the coordination and drafting of at least one chapter of this report, drawing on various sources of reliable data, input from other contributors and comments by independent reviewers and DSEWPaC (ex officio member Dr Barbara Wienecke compiled the Antarctic chapter with support from the Australian Antarctic Division). Throughout the development of the report, the committee advocated for accurate, robust and meaningful environmental reporting and identification of policy issues, but not for any particular policy position. (The full terms of reference for the chair and committee are available on the SoE websitea.)
The committee was supported in its work by the National Environmental Reporting section of DSEWPaC, a steering committee of departmental senior executives, members of the cross-jurisdictional SoE Reporting Forum, the Indigenous Advisory Committee and many others who are recognised in the Acknowledgements section of this report.
Thomas (Tom) Hatton PhD PSM is the Director of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Wealth from Oceans Flagship. He was previously Director of CSIRO’s Water for a Healthy Country Flagship. He has 25 years of research experience in ecohydrology and catchment hydrology, and has led significant environmental research projects across Australia. He was awarded the Inaugural National WE Wood Award for Scientific Excellence in Salinity R&D in 1999. For his work leading the Murray–Darling Sustainable Yields Assessment, he was awarded the CSIRO Chairman’s Medal for Research Excellence. His contribution to water and environmental research was recognised with the Public Service Medal in the 2008 Australia Day Honours.
Steven Cork PhD is an ecologist and futurist who spent 25 years at CSIRO researching the ecology of Australian and north American mammals, and the interactions between biodiversity and human welfare. He led CSIRO's Ecosystem Services Program (1998–2002) and played a key role in writing the scenarios for the world’s ecological futures for the United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. His career has focused strongly on interactions between science and policy, and he spent five years working as a policy officer in the Australian Government's environment department. He is now Principal Consultant at EcoInsights, where he works as a futurist, strategist and ecological adviser. He also leads a major project on the resilience of Australia in the private sustainability research and development organisation Australia 21, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Crawford School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University.
Peter Harper is a Deputy Australian Statistician at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Peter has worked at the ABS for almost 30 years. Since 2004, he has been responsible for the ABS’s environment statistics program, during which time there have been a number of significant developments. At the ABS, Peter is responsible for a diverse range of subjects, including labour, demography, industry, agriculture, rural and regional, and environment statistics. He is also actively engaged in international work relating to environment statistics, including chairing the United Nations Committee of Experts on Environmental Economic Accounting.
Robert Joy is Adjunct Professor at the School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning at RMIT University. He is the appointed independent site supervisor for the Gunns pulp mill development in Tasmania, former Chairman of Greenfleet Australia and Deputy Chairman of the Environment Protection Authority Victoria. He has 25 years of experience in policy development and program delivery in environment protection and resource management.
Peter Kanowski is Professor of Forestry in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University (ANU). He has been researching, teaching and working in forest and environmental policy for 20 years, initially at Oxford University and subsequently at ANU. Peter was a panel member in the 2003–04 Council of Australian Governments National Bushfire Inquiry and a contributor to the 2006 Australian State of the Environment report.
Richard Mackay AM is a partner of Godden Mackay Logan Pty Ltd, Heritage Consultants, and Adjunct Professor in the Archaeology Program at La Trobe University. He has more than 20 years of experience in cultural resource management and is a Member of the Order of Australia for services to heritage and archaeology. He is currently Chair of the Australian World Heritage Advisory Committee and the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area Advisory Committee. He was previously a Director of the New South Wales National Trust, a member of the Heritage Council of New South Wales and a member of the Australia International Council on Monuments and Sites Burra Charter Working Party.
Neil McKenzie PhD is Chief of CSIRO Land and Water. Neil has 25 years of research experience in soil science. His research has focused on quantitative methods for mapping soil and land resources. Neil is actively involved in shaping public policy on scientific aspects of land and water resource management in Australia. He is also playing a lead role internationally in establishing a global soil information system to ensure more informed responses to food security, carbon dynamics and environmental management.
Trevor Ward PhD is an independent Perth-based marine ecologist specialising in performance assessment systems for marine ecosystems and biodiversity. He provides strategic policy and technical advice to government agencies, fisheries managers, conservation groups and local communities worldwide on the conservation and sustainable management of marine ecosystems and fisheries. He has published widely in marine ecology and environmental management, and in 1996 was jointly awarded the CSIRO Chairman’s Medal for excellence in marine science. He currently holds appointments as Visiting Professor at the University of Queensland, Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia.
Ex officio member
Barbara Wienecke PhD is a research scientist at the Australian Antarctic Division. She has studied the foraging ecology of penguins and other seabirds for more than 20 years. Since 1993, she has spent many seasons in Antarctica, the subantarctic and South America, and has published the results of her work in international journals and books. She is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society for Ornithology, the Cooper Ornithological Society and Birds Australia.
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