State of the Environment Report 2008

South Australians are immensely privileged people, who live in a beautiful, dramatic, delicate natural environment and one that is rich in biodiversity. However, there are significant threats to this natural heritage as best illustrated by the critical condition of the internationally important Coorong and Lower Lakes. This, the fifth State of Environment Report for South Australia, shows that while improvements have occurred in some areas, our environment is under significant stress and requires urgent attention from government, business and the community.

The report is based on scientific data and assesses the condition of the environment, ascertains trends over time, quantifies pressures influencing these trends, and identifies emerging environmental issues. It also evaluates the effectiveness of government policy interventions and programs to protect, enhance and conserve the environment, and makes recommendations for action. As a community we are developing a better understanding of the challenges of a changing climate and how we can collectively work towards ensuring a sustainable society that can be enjoyed by our children and future generations.

The release of the report coincides with a world financial crisis, which may divert attention from the urgent need for action on the environment front. The report is thus timely in its contribution to provide credible information and assessments to inform government and business decisions, and to engage the community in pursuing economic, social and environmental sustainability.

This website provides a copy of the State of the Environment Report for 2008, an Executive Summary and Key Findings document for those of you who wish to gain a snap shot of the Report, as well as an excellent education resource package for children, teachers and the community. The realisation of this report has been a collaborative effort between the project team, the State of the Environment Report Steering Committee and the many people who contributed to, and peer reviewed, the various chapters of the report. Their efforts are very much appreciated.

I commend this report to you and strongly encourage all South Australians to get involved and contribute in whatever way you can to improving the state of our environment so that future generations can enjoy the quality of life that we often take for granted. I call on government, business, industry, community groups, and each and every South Australian to act today to contribute to a better environment tomorrow.

Cheryl Bart AO
Presiding Member, EPA Board