Western Australia’s South West Natural Resource Management (NRM) Region lies within an internationally renowned biodiversity hotspot, featuring unique plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth.
The region is experiencing increasing pressures from climate change, population growth, development and water demand which will continue to test its environmental and social capital.
The future of this region, community and economy are all dependent on how citizens collectively care for and manage their environment and natural resources.
The South West Environmental Snapshot aims to provide greater clarity on the challenges and opportunities that exist, while improving community understanding and participation.
Banner photo: Stormy Day at Sugarloaf Rock. Photo: Christian Fletcher
Why have an environmental snapshot for our region?
Natural Resource Management (NRM) is about managing our water, soil, plants and animals, and supporting our communities through engagement activities and awareness raising to ensure these natural resources are conserved and protected for both present and future generations. It looks at the sustainable use of these environmental resources and their long-term profitable management, as well as maintaining strength and resilience in the communities using those resources.
Multiple factors are causing the condition and status of our South West natural resources and communities to change over time, including climate change, conservation efforts, land use and management approaches. These need to be monitored and reported on to provide people with a sense of how our environment, resources and communities are tracking over time.
The management of the South West NRM Region is a shared effort and responsibility. The South West Catchments Council (SWCC) works collaboratively with Federal, State and Local Government, industry bodies, community groups, Noongar community representatives, grower groups, farmers and small landholders towards shared objectives in sustainable agricultural and environmental management.
It is important that we communicate the condition and status of our precious environmental assets and natural resources at our regional scale, and how they are changing (trending) over time, with this shared effort and responsibility in mind.
Part of SWCC’s mission is to be a community change-maker on behalf of the natural environment and the communities we represent. In order to do this, SWCC needs to develop communications and engagement tools that will raise community awareness of issues impacting on the South West Region’s environment and people. As such, we decided to develop an environment snapshot, to provide a contemporary overview of our region’s greatest challenges, opportunities and how our priority assets have changed between 2001 and 2017.
This South West Environmental Snapshot aims to foster community appreciation, understanding and participation in improving and maintaining our unique and precious south west environment and sense of place. It will also encourage active discussions amongst citizens, community leaders, all tiers of government, businesses, landholders, and other key stakeholders on the state of the South West environment, to prompt actions and drive change in our communities.
How was the snapshot developed?
A steering committee, technical advisory panels and leading experts identified, prioritised and developed 33 indicators across the NRM themes (including terrestrial biodiversity, marine and coastal, aquatic biodiversity, water resources, communities and culture, climate change and population growth) for our region.
The indicators were chosen to best represent the most pressing and compelling environmental points for our region, as well as where the data was available and/or interpretable at the South West NRM Regional scale.
The selected indicators were then summarised to represent a selection of key environmental trends, conditions and facts, based on the most up-to-date and available data, research and analysis. A series of case studies were also developed for each theme, to provide more comprehensive and in-depth examination of some of the most pertinent indicators and the associated conservation actions and on-ground activities implemented regionally to address them.
For further information on the methodology, please download the Background Document & Summary Paper.
How to use the snapshot
Hover over each indicator located on the Home Page to display a brief explanation. If you would like more information, click on More>>. This will provide you with background information relating to each indicator, further information and reading material which may be of interest, and even what you can do to help! Alternatively, you can go straight to the theme area of most interest to you, by using the menu bar. Whether this is Terrestrial Biodiversity or Communities and Culture, you will get all the information you want in one place, including related case studies about indicators of particular importance to the Region.