Defining the current condition of any environment in Australia has long been a difficult process. An enduring challenge is that there are many varying concepts of condition with no widespread consensus across the many researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers who work to understand and manage Australian environments. As a result, Australia lacks a robust national capacity for assessing and monitoring environmental condition.
A new TERN project 'Enhancing long-term surveillance monitoring across Australia' aims to address this challenge, and to enhance the breadth and depth of Australia's terrestrial ecosystem condition monitoring and reporting at national and regional scales. The project is supported by the Department of the Environment as an Emerging Priority project in the National Environmental Research Program, and includes a suite of activities to build Australia's surveillance monitoring capacity around a small set of terrestrial biodiversity indicators.
The objective of this project is to provide a series of tested protocols, manuals and tablet app-based modules that can be applied to expand our capacity to understand and monitor changes to biodiversity across Australia. It provides the first steps to achieving a nationally consistent baseline for environmental reporting against which management can be measured. Importantly, the project will actively involve expert stakeholders from across the country, to inform a truly national approach to measuring biodiversity in Australia that is not limited by state and territory boundaries.
Ultimately, the project will enable the Department of the Environment and other stakeholders to better define condition, and monitor and understand changes in the condition of vegetation, fauna populations and ecosystems across Australia. In addition, a number of national products will be produced that allow for consistent measurement of key attributes of biota.
A/Prof Nikki Thurgate
Principal Investigator and TERN Collaborations and Partnerships Manager
P: (08) 8313 1259
Co-Principal Investigator and AusPlots Director
P: (08) 8313 1201