The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities has published a national plan to improve the quality and coverage of Australia's environmental information.
gets green light
According to the Department, the National Plan for Environmental Information was developed to bring together all efforts in national environmental information, building and maintaining the critical information infrastructure for the future.
The initiative aims to deliver improved access to high quality information to assist environmental decision-making by Government agencies and is part of a collaboration between the Department and the Bureau of Meteorology.
It follows an Independent Review of Australian Government Environmental Information Activity, commissioned in 2011, to analyse the efficiency, effectiveness and appropriateness of the Australian Government’s current practices relating to environmental information.
The review was also tasked with identifying options to improve the provision and use of environmental information generated with government investment and recommended a comprehensive set of actions to address issues.
Its final report identified obstacles to effective and efficient use of the environmental information base across Government, summarised in five themes: cultural issues that inhibit collaboration between policy makers and information providers; structural barriers to coordination and cooperation; current funding arrangements; technical barriers; and legal barriers.
Additionally, in 2012 the Environmental Information Advisory Group (EIAG) released a Statement of Australian Government Requirements for Environmental Information whichidentified policy, research and operational activities of the Australian Government that were dependent upon environmental information.
The Department is currently considering the findings and recommendations of the independent review in consultation with other agencies for the purposes of developing a long term strategy for environmental information.
The Final Report of the review can be accessed at this PS News link and more information on the National Plan is available from this one.
Edition 353, 19 March 2013