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The environment supports everything we need to survive, grow and prosper – air, water, food, resources, and health and wellbeing. It is vital that we do everything we can to protect, maintain and restore the environment, for current and future generations. Yet the activities we undertake continually impact the very aspects of the environment we rely on for our survival and health and wellbeing. We have historically adapted the environment to suit our needs.

The moment is long overdue for us to now adjust to and meet the demands of our environment. It is now crucial to promptly address the challenges and effects our environment is experiencing. Acknowledging the necessity to manage the environment comprehensively and the interdependent nature of the challenges, as well as implementing effective responses, are vital for successfully dealing with these issues.

The Australia State of the Environment Report 2021 provides a sombre message:

Overall, the state and trend of the environment of Australia are poor and deteriorating as a result of increasing pressures from climate change, habitat loss, invasive species, pollution and resource extraction. Changing environmental conditions mean that many species and ecosystems are increasingly threatened. Multiple pressures create cumulative impacts that amplify threats to our environment, and abrupt changes in ecological systems have been recorded in the past 5 years.

Although there have been numerous environmental initiatives at both national and state and territory levels, there is insufficient overall investment and lack of coordination to be able to adequately address the growing impacts from climate change, land clearing, invasive species, pollution and urban expansion.

Ongoing environmental decline also has negative economic impacts on industries, businesses, regions and individuals. In a rapidly changing climate, with declining biodiversity, the general outlook for our environment is deteriorating. The impacts of this will affect us all.

These messages also apply to South Australia.

The SOER provides recommendations to the South Australian Government.

It also highlights significant issues raised during consultation and analysis regarding issues affecting environmental outcomes for South Australia.