The 2021 State of the Environment report is out now
Read it here: soe.dcceew.gov.au
Read the report. Make an impact. Heal Country.
The 2021 State of the Environment report (SoE 2021) provides an independent, comprehensive and evidence-based assessment of the state of Australia’s environment.
SoE 2021 is co-authored by some of Australia’s most respected environmental scientists and experts, and led by a diverse group of co-chief authors who bring their own expertise and perspectives to the report:
- Dr Terri Janke, a Wuthathi/Meriam woman and an international authority on Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property
- Professor Emma Johnston, a leading authority in marine ecology
- Dr Ian Cresswell, an expert in biodiversity and landscape management science.
SoE 2021 covers the current state, pressures, impacts, management, and outlook for 12 environmental themes: Air quality, Antarctica, Biodiversity, Climate, Coasts, Extreme events, Heritage, Indigenous, Inland water, Land, Marine and Urban.
For the first time since national SoE reporting began, an Indigenous co-authorship model was used to ensure Indigenous knowledge, values and perspectives are incorporated in the assessment of the environment and used to inform decision making for better environmental outcomes.
It highlights the importance that traditional knowledge has played in caring for Country in Australia for tens of thousands of years and will continue to play in the future.
The department engaged specialist Indigenous engagement experts to share and validate Indigenous author research and findings, and to gather Indigenous-user needs to inform the development of the report and support the development of case studies.
SoE 2021 was also developed with the assistance of non-government representatives, who form a User Reference Group. This ensures it meets the needs of those who will use it most in their decision making.
- Report overview (PDF 2.6 MB)
- Coasts (PDF 1.4 MB)
- First Nations and Country (PDF 1.4 MB)
- Habitat and Natural Capital (PDF 1.3 MB)
- Heritage (PDF 1.5 MB)
- Marine (PDF 1.8 MB)
- Rivers and Wetlands (PDF 1.5 MB)
- Threatened Species and Ecological Communities (PDF 1.2 MB)
- Urban Environments and Waste (PDF 1.3 MB)
- EPBC Act (PDF 1.5 MB)
Video – pre-release information session with co-chief authors, Professor Emma Johnston, Dr Terri Janke and Dr Ian Cresswell on 19 July 2022. The co-chiefs present on the key findings of the report and answer questions submitted by the audience.
Video – virtual briefing held with Air Quality chapter authors Dr Kathryn Emmerson and Dr Melita Keywood on 1 August 2022
Video – virtual briefing held with Antarctica chapter authors Dr Dirk Welsford, Dr Barbara Wienecke and Dr Andrew Klekociuk on 8 August 2022
Video – virtual briefing held with Biodiversity chapter authors Dr Helen Murphy and Dr Stephen van Leeuwen on 5 August 2022
Video transcript coming soon
Video – virtual briefing held with Climate chapter authors Dr Blair Trewin, Sonia Cooper and Damian Morgan-Bulled on 28 July 2022
Video – virtual briefing held with Coasts chapter authors Dr Graeme Clark, Dr Cass Hunter and Mibu Fischer on 4 August 2022
Video – virtual briefing held with Extreme Events chapter authors Dr Dan Metcalfe and Oliver Costello on 5 August 2022
Extreme Events chapter briefing video transcript (DOCX 105 KB)
Video – virtual briefing held with Heritage chapter authors Anne McConnell, Dr Terri Janke, Dr Ian Cresswell and Zena Cumpston on 1 August 2022
Video – virtual briefing held with Indigenous chapter authors Dr Terri Janke, Zena Cumpston, Dr Rosemary Hill, Dr Emma Woodward, Stephanie von Gavel and Dr Pia Harkness on 2 August 2022
Video – virtual briefing held with Inland Water chapter authors Janice Green and Associate Professor Bradley Moggridge on 2 August 2022
Video – virtual briefing held with Land chapter authors Dr Kristen Williams, Dr Becky Schmidt, Barry Hunter, Dr Ian Cresswell and Dr Emma Woodward on 12 August 2022
Video – virtual briefing held with Marine chapter authors Dr Rowan Trebilco, Dr Cass Hunter, Mibu Fischer, Dr Alistair Hobday, Dr Karen Evans and Linda Thomas on 3 August 2022
Video – virtual briefing held with Urban chapter authors Dr Sarah Hill, Dr Gabriela Quintana Vigiola and Zena Cumpston on 29 July 2022
What is State of Environment reporting?
Every 5 years the Australian Government conducts a comprehensive review of the state of the Australian environment.
National SoE reports provide information about environmental and heritage conditions, trends and pressures. They cover the Australian continent, surrounding seas and Australia's external territories.
The purpose of the State of the Environment report is to:
- provide a strategic view to shape policy and action
- engage with users to influence behaviour
- assist with assessing our interventions as stewards for the Australian environment using the principles of collaborative partnerships to combine science, traditional and local knowledge.
Some states and territories produce SoE reports. We are working with the states and territories to improve our linking of outcome-based indicators to make it easier to see what is going on across the nation and at regional levels.
Regional-scale reporting also occurs in many areas throughout Australia.
Visit state and territory government websites to find out about their reporting processes: