United Nations
Australia State of the Environment
by Department of the Environment and Energy (Government)
Every five years the Australian Government commissions a national assessment of the state of the Australian environment. This review is independently authored and presents a peer-reviewed assessment of the current state of the Australian environment, recent trends, how it is managed and future outlook. The latest review, Australia State of the Environment (SoE) 2016 was released in March this year.

SoE 2016 has taken more than two years to bring together, and was compiled by 18 lead authors and with contributions from several hundred other scientists in supporting or peer-reviewing roles. The full review includes a paper on the drivers of environmental change, nine detailed thematic reports (atmosphere, built environment, heritage, biodiversity, land, inland water, coasts, marine and Antarctic environment), and an overview synthesising all SoE 2016 reports. As the most comprehensive assessment of the state of Australias environment to date, SoE 2016 is recognised an important resource for helping to guide and prioritise the Australian Governments significant investment being made to protect the environment.

Published on a new interactive digital platform for the first time, the review enables decision-makers, researchers and the public to explore and discover its findings in a variety of ways. The platform allows users to compare findings with the previous review (SoE 2011); search for trends in assessments; interrogate over 300 maps and graphs as well as download the underpinning data; and filter content by theme, trend, topic, grade or reporting framework.

The Australian Government is committed to making ongoing improvements that enhance the currency and useability of this resource, as it moves towards the next 5 yearly review. In the interim the Australian Government will be exploring how it can capitalise on the potential of the digital platform to make more data available more frequently, ahead of SoE 2021.
Progress reports
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Data access and sharing
  • Scientific cooperation
December 2021
By 2022, a new and revised assessment of the state of Australias environment will be made available for tabling in the Australian Parliament and for public release.
Staff / Technical expertise
The level of funding supporting staff / technical expertise for the next State of the Environment report has not been determine at this stage.
In-kind contribution
The level of resourcing needed for the production of the next State of the Environment report has not been determined at this stage.
Basic information
Time-frame: January 2019 - March 2022
Department of the Environment and Energy (Government). Bureau of Meteorology (Government), Australian Antarctic Division (Government), Australian Bureau of Statistics (Government), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Government), University of New South Wales (Academic Institution), Mackay Strategic (Other relevant actor).
Ocean Basins
  • Indian Ocean
  • South Pacific
  • Southern Ocean
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
environmental decision makers and managers, policy makers, the scientific community, business, industry, educational institutions, non-government organisations, anyone interested in the state of Australias environment
Contact information
Katrina Phillips, Director, State of the Environment Section, Department of the Environment and Energy, Katrina.Phillips@environment.gov.au, +61 2 6274 1620
Canberra, Australia
Other SDGs
United Nations