Environment Map of Australia

Purpose of the Map

The Environment Map of Australia is a factual, detailed and visually attractive poster that synthesises and summarises Australia’s key environmental data onto a map (900 mm x 1300mm). The Map was released in March 2000 and its development was supported by the Environment Institute of Australia and Environment Australia.

The Environment Map of Australia, comprising both a spatial element (the map) and a non-spatial component (accompanying charts and tables), aims to increase awareness and knowledge of the environment and environmental issues within Australia. It presents information in an easily digestible form on a variety of indicators of environmental health and performance in Australia, highlighting both areas of achievement and concern.

The Environment Map of Australia is a resource for all those with an interest in the environment – including professionals wanting a ready reference for key environmental trends, statistics and noteworthy events, and students wanting information about major environmental issues facing Australia and initiatives for overcoming them.


The spatial component of the Environment Map identifies:
• Environmental blackspots
• Major environmental achievements
• Protected areas
• Major environmental campaign sites
• Important biodiversity refuge sites
• Natural phenomena
• Australia’s arid/semi-arid zone
• Predator-proof fences
• Topographic features and many other environmentally significant sites and features of the Australian continent.

To view a sample section of the Map showing some of the sites identified under these categories, click below on one of the options
• Shark Bay, Western Australia
• Tasmania

The non-spatial component of the Environment Map comprises over 50 charts and tables separated into nine categories, namely:
1. Air
2. Biodiversity
3. Coastal and marine
4. Consumption and waste
5. Energy and transport
6. Greenhouse
7. Key trends and prominent events
8. Land
9. Water

Here are some examples of the types of charts and tables presented on the Map. By clicking on those with a link, you can view the chart as it looks on the Map.
• Australia’s Energy Source Mix
• Energy Consumption by State/Territory
• Installed Renewable Energy Capacity by State/Territory
• Protected Land Area in Australia
• Land Cover Change in Australia 1788-1988
• Land Use in Australia
• Vegetation Clearance by Biogeographic Region
• Australia’s Drainage Divisions and Water Resources
• Rainfall of the Continents
• Household Water Consumption
• Australia’s Notable Introduced Plant Pests
• Endangered Australian Mammals
• Consumption Pressure on Natural Ecosystems
• Use of ‘Green’ Products in Australian Households
• Motor Vehicle Contribution to Australia’s Air Pollution
• Australian Carbon Dioxide Emissions 1900-1996
• Per Capita Greenhouse Gas Emissions (selected countries)
• Sources of Australia’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions
• Catch Effort over time for some depleted fisheries
• Global Temperature Trends
• Southern Hemisphere Mean October Total Ozone

Creating the Map

Essentially the Map is a synthesis of a huge amount of environmental data (sourced widely from books, reports, industry newsletters, company press releases, newspaper articles etc) providing a meaningful overview of environmental issues and initiatives in Australia. Data for the Map was chosen by a Technical Steering Committee comprising environmental experts from professional associations, research and non-government organisations. The majority of the committee are Members and Fellows of the Environment Institute of Australia.

Sponsors and Supporters

The development of the Map was supported by the Environment Institute of Australia and Environment Australia. Sponsorship for the production of the Map was provided by Central Queensland University, Pacific Hydro Ltd and the Environmental Management Industry Association of Australia (EMIAA), CDS Technologies and Monash University.


Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand & ANZECC 1999 The National Weeds Strategy: a strategic approach to weed problems of national significance Commonwealth of Australia.

AUSLIG & Johnson K 1992 The Ausmap Atlas of Australia Cambridge University Press: Melbourne.

Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering 1997 Urban Air Pollution in Australia Environment Australia: Kingston ACT.

Mues C, Chapman L & Van Hilst R 1998 Landcare: promoting improved land management practices on Australian farms Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics: Canberra.

ABARE 1999 Economic impacts of the Kyoto Protocol: accounting for the three major cities Commonwealth of Australia.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 1921 Year Book Australia AGPS: Canberra.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 1995 Year Book Australia AGPS: Canberra.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 1996 Australians and the Environment Australian Government Publishing Service: Canberra.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 1997 Waste Management Industry 1996-97 AGPS: Canberra.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 1998 Environmental Issues: People’s Views and Practices AGPS: Canberra.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 1998 Tasmanian Year Book AGPS: Canberra.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 1998 Year Book Australia AGPS: Canberra.

Bolton G 1992 Spoils and Spoilers Allen & Unwin: St Leonards NSW.

Broome R 1994 Aboriginal Australians: Black responses to white dominance 1788-1994 Allen & Unwin: St Leonards NSW.

Bureau of Rural Sciences 1998 Australia’s State of the Forests Report OR National Forest Inventory 1998 Australia’s State of the Forests Report 1998 Bureau of Rural Sciences: Canberra.

Bush S, Dickson A, Harman J & Anderson J 1999 Australian Energy: Market Developments and Projections to 2014-15 Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics: Canberra.

Campbell A 1994 Landcare: Communities Shaping the Land and the Future Allen & Unwin: St Leaonards NSW.

Conacher A and Conacher J 1995 Rural Land Degradation in Australia Oxford University Press: Melbourne.

Crabb P 1997 Impacts of anthropogenic activities, water use and consumption on water resources and flooding Australia: State of the Environment Technical Paper Series (Inland Waters) Department of the Environment: Canberra.

Cresswell ID and Thomas GM 1997 Terrestrial and Marine Protected Areas in Australia (1997) Environment Australia, Biodiversity Group: Canberra.

Endangered Fauna Network 1999 Threatened Australian Fauna Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council.

Endangered Flora Network 1999 Threatened Australian Flora Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council.

Environment Australia (National Wetlands Program, Biodiversity Unit) 1999 Australian Ramsar Sites (see www.biodiversity.environment.gov.au/environm/wetlands/ramsar/ramindex.htm)

Environment Australia (Biodiversity Unit) 1994 Australia’s Biodiversity: an overview of selected significant components (see www.environment.gov.au/life/general_info/biodivser_2/biod_1.html)

Environment Australia (Morton SR, Short J and Barker RD) 1995 Refugia for Biological Diversity in Arid and Semi-arid Australia (see www.environment.gov.au/life/general_info/biodivser_4/bio_con. html)

ESAA 1999 Electricity Australia ’99

Fox A 1997 Amazing Facts About Australian Landscapes Steve Parish Publishing: Archerfield QLD.

Great Artesian Basin Consultative Council 1998 Draft Strategic Management Plan for the Great Artesian Basin

Kennedy M 1990 Australia’s endangered species Simon & Schuster Australia: Brookvale NSW

Kirkman H 1997 Seagrasses of Australia Australia: State of the Environment Technical Paper Series (Estuaries and the Sea) Department of the Environment: Canberra.

Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council 1995 An Audit of Water Use in the Murray-Darling Basin CSIRO: Canberra.

NSW EPA Annual Reports

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 1998 Environmental Performance Reviews: Australia OECD Publications: Paris.

Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage 1998 Ambient air quality monitoring 1997 annual summary and trend report

Queensland State of the Environment Report 1999

Read IG 1998 Continent of Extremes University of NSW Press: Sydney.

Recher HF, Lunney D & Dunn I 1990 A Natural Legacy: Ecology in Australia

Slater P 1997 Amazing Facts About Australia’s Heritage Steve Parish Publishing: Archerfield QLD.

Slater P 1999 Amazing Facts About Australia Steve Parish Publishing: Archerfield QLD.

State of the Environment Advisory Council (eds) 1996 Australia: State of the Environment 1996, an independent report to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.

State of the Environment Reporting Unit 1998 Environment Western Australia 1998: State of the Environment Report Department of Environmental Protection: Perth.

Strahan (ed) 1991 Complete Book of Australian Mammals CollinsAngus&Robertson Publishers: North Ryde NSW.

Thackway R and Cresswell ID (eds) 1995 An Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia: a framework for establishing the national system of reserves Australian Nature Conservation Agency: Canberra.

The World Bank 1999 World Development Indicators 1999

United Nations 1996 Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (see www.unfcc.de)

United Nations 1997 Demographic Yearbook Department of Economic and Social Affairs: New York.

Vamplew W (ed) 1987 Australians: Historical Statistics Fairfax, Syme & Weldon: Sydney.

Vic EPA Annual Reports

Waterwatch Australia 1995 Communities in Action: Waterwatch Case Studies Australian Nature Conservation Agency.

White ME 1998 Listen-our land is crying: Australia’s environment, problems and solutions Kangaroo Press: East Roseville NSW.

White ME 1994 After the Greening: the browning of Australia Kangaroo Press: Kenthurst NSW.

World Heritage Center, UNESCO, IUCN (The World Conservation Union); WCMC (World Conservation Monitoring Center) (eds) 1994 Masterworks of Man and Nature Harper-MacRae Publishing: Patonga NSW.

World Resources Institute, UNEP and World Bank 1999 World Resources 1998-99 Oxford University Press: New York.

World Wide Fund for Nature 1998 Living Planet Report 1998 WWF: Gland, Switzerland.

Brown LR, Flavin C & French H (Worldwatch Institute) 1998 State of the World 1998 Norton: New York.

Zann LP 1995 Our Sea, Our Future: Major Findings of the State of the Marine Environment Report for Australia Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (for the Department of the Environment, Sports and Territories).

Recent News

Report for The International Network for Acid Prevention

26 May 2020

Earth Systems in collaboration with Okane Consultants, released a report providing new insight into ensuring low polluting mine operations, and more successful mine closure outcomes.

The report reviews conventional mine rock stockpile construction methods, and summarises improved construction technologies that are available to help improve water quality from mine wastes. Continued efforts to implement these technologies will help quantify their environmental and economic benefits.


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