The 6th national State of the Environment Report should serve as a wakeup call for safeguarding Australia’s unique biodiversity and catalysing more ambitious action to combat climate change.
Following the reports launch, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) calls for stronger emission reduction commitments and the rapid deployment of renewable technology which will decarbonise economic sectors and help realise the Government’s aspiration to become a renewable energy superpower.
ATSE also strongly supports the reports calls for more investment in innovative technologies that will help create a net zero economy.
The report also notes that incorporation of conservation practices such as ecological restoration and revegetation are slowly transforming Australia’s agricultural practice but that some agricultural practices are still resulting in soil degradation. ATSE calls for further investment in agricultural technology to help prevent this degradation and ultimately improve biodiversity gains in agricultural systems.
ATSE also welcomes and echoes the reports calls for strong investment in environmental monitoring technologies and data management. Historically environmental monitoring has required a large investment of time, money and people hours. However, earth and satellite-based sensing systems have the potential to reduce costs and extend environmental monitoring to areas previously unreachable.
The Academy also supports the recommendation from the 2021 Samuel Review calling for the establishment of legally enforceable national environmental standards, which would set clear requirements for those who interact with the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.
ATSE strongly believes that collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional owners is important in managing the Australian environment.
The Academy welcomes the inclusion of Indigenous voices and knowledge for the first time in a State of the Environment report. It is crucial to recognise, respect, learn from and apply Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge systems which have successfully and sustainably managed our environment and biodiversity for more than 65,000 years.