The EPA SA Board released the 2018 State of the Environment (SOE) Report for South Australia on 19 November.
This five-yearly examination assesses the state and condition of our major environmental resources and identifies significant trends in environmental quality, and shows that, while South Australia was doing reasonably well, in some areas there are serious challenges to be met.
This is the seventh SOE Report and adds emerging pressures such as those stemming from climate change to the evidence that environmental sustainability must remain at the forefront of government, business and community decision making to ensure the state’s long-term prosperity.
The report draws together data and information from many sources to provide an independent, objective and consolidated assessment of environmental trends and issues.
It provides clarity about the South Australia’s environmental risks and pressures and sets out what is being done to protect the environment.
It also serves as a reminder that our quality of life, economic success, and social fabric are all underpinned by the health of the environment.
The SOE Report covers five themes: climate, air, inland waters, land, and coast. A new feature of the 2018 report is its inclusion of opinion pieces by experts Prof Corey Bradshaw, Prof Justin Brooks and Mark Western on biodiversity, coast protection, and aquatic ecosystems.
In some, such as air quality, the reuse of wastewater and stormwater, marine health and recycling, the state is doing reasonably well.
In others, like species loss, the increase in the amount and complexity of waste, and dealing with the effects of a changing climate, including sea level rise, there are challenges to be met.
The summary report highlights cross-cutting issues considered particularly important by the EPA Board, and makes six related recommendations to help safeguard our environment into the future, with a strong focus on preparing for a changing climate.
The EPA engaged quarterly with conservation organisations, whose views helped shape the report and provided the opportunity to debate important environmental issues facing the state.
The 2018 Report will continue to be a living document used to inform decision making across all sectors, including planning, investment decisions, policy development and management actions.
Read the 2018 State of the Environment Report.