OUT NOW: 2013 State of the Environment Report
The EPA has released the 2013 South Australia State of the Environment Report.
It provides a comprehensive audit and assessment of the state’s environmental resources, and the major environmental issues and trends. Published every five years, this is the sixth State of the Environment Report for South Australia and provides evidence that environmental sustainability must remain at the forefront of government, business, council and community decision-making to ensure the long-term prosperity of the state.
The EPA’s Presiding Member Mia Handshin and Chief Executive Dr Campbell Gemmell, presented the 2013 report to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, the Hon. Ian Hunter MLC for the Government.
Dr Gemmell said the 2013 Report draws together data and information from numerous and diverse sources, to provide an independent, objective and consolidated assessment of environmental trends and issues. It provides clarity about what South Australia’s environmental risks and pressures are and sets out what is being done to protect the environment.
“It should come as no surprise that there are growing pressures as our population continues to grow and production increases. But importantly, we have identified the major issues and how, as partners, all levels of government and communities can set about addressing them for a sustainable future” he said.
Presenting details of the report to a gathering of interested stakeholders, Dr Gemmell said the State of the Environment Report reminds us that our quality of life, our economic success, and our social fabric are underpinned by the quality of our environment.
“This report can – and should – be used to inform planning, investment decisions, policy development and management actions. We need to ensure that it’s a useful, living document that drives and influences decision-making across all sectors – government, private enterprise and the wider community … and that it actually means something for the future of our State.”
The 2013 State of the Environment Report features a new reporting framework and chapter format, covering people and places, climate change, water, biodiversity, and the coastal and marine environment. Each chapter also has a new report card summary that provides a quick overview of the main trends.
Overall, the report reveals mixed results in the condition of the state’s natural assets and trends in environmental quality that have occurred over the last five years. There is good news – such as sustained growth in the generation of renewable energy, more efficient use of water and electricity, and continued increases in recycling. And we are tackling our industrial legacy of contaminated soils and groundwater systems. There are also causes for concern – including increased use of natural resources, increased development and industrial activity in sensitive areas such as the coastal zone, increased use of private motor vehicles, and changes in the acidity, salinity and temperature of the marine environment.
The SOE report is now available online.