Technical Analysis of the Australian Regional Environmental Accounts Trial

NRM Regions Australia, the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists and associated scientists, and experts in Commonwealth and state agencies undertook a four-year trial to develop a set of regionally-based environmental accounts which measure the condition of environmental assets. The purpose of the trial was to test the operational aspects and institutional arrangements necessary for carrying out an ongoing national environmental accounts program, based on the Wentworth Group’s Accounting for Nature model (2008).
The Technical Analysis of the Australian Regional Environmental Accounts Trial is the second of two reports evaluating the Australian Regional Environmental Account Trial. The Technical Analysis provides an analysis of the approaches used to compile accounts, evaluates methods and choice of indicators, and uses these insights to describe the institutional and scientific arrangements required to further develop environmental asset condition accounting at a regional scale. The Technical Analysis is presented in two parts:

  • Technical Analysis of each asset, discussing indicator selection and utility of the Econds for advancing asset condition accounting in Australia.
  • Supplementary Materials including descriptions of and links to the Regional Environmental Asset Condition Accounts and Information Statements; Accreditation Criteria used to evaluate the accounts and Accreditation Reports which summarise the findings of the accreditation process; Working Papers which set out draft accounting standards for specific assets; committees and contributors; program logic and evaluation questions; and a Glossary of Terms.

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Download Report Sections

Executive Summary (0.9MB)

Chapter 1 – Design of the Trial (1.5MB)

Chapter 2 – Native Vegetation (7.5MB)

Chapter 3 – Soil Part A (9.4MB) | Soil Part B (4.3MB)

Chapter 4 – Rivers (3.5MB)

Chapter 5 – Wetlands (1.1MB)

Chapter 6 – Estuaries (1.7MB)

Chapter 7 – Native Fauna (1MB)

Chapter 8 – Marine Fauna (1.5MB)

Chapter 9 – Discussion & References (0.5MB)

Supplementary Materials (excl. Working Paper Series) (1.3MB)

Working Paper Series (7.1MB)



Scientific Standards and Accreditation Committee

Mr Peter Cosier, (Chair) Director, Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists
Dr Richard Davis, Hydrologist, former Chief Science Advisor, Australian National Water Commission
Mr Mike Grundy, Research Director, Sustaining Soil and Landscapes, CSIRO Agriculture Flagship
Dr Ronnie Harding FEIANZ, Zoologist, Senior Visiting Fellow, Institute of Environmental Studies, UNSW
Dr Terry Hillman AM, Ecologist, former Member, Murray Darling Basin, Sustainable Rivers Audit
Dr Richard Mount, Geographer, Adjunct Senior Researcher, University of Tasmania, former Environmental Accounts Lead, Bureau of Meteorology
Prof. Hugh Possingham FAA, Professor of Mathematics and Zoology, Centre for Australian Environmental Decision Analysis, UQ
Dr Denis Saunders AM, Chair, Sara Halvedene Foundation, Ecologist, Editor, Pacific Conservation Biology; former Chief Research Scientist, CSIRO
Ms Carla Sbrocchi, Marine Biologist, Environmental Accounts Program Manager, Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists
Dr Tony Smith AM, Chief Research Scientist, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere
Adj. Assoc. Prof. Richard Thackway, Ecologist, School of Geography, Planning & Environmental Management, UQ
Prof. Bruce Thom AM, FIAG, FTSE, Geographer, Chair, 2001 Australian State of the Environment Report

Suggested Citation

Sbrocchi C., Davis R., Grundy M., Harding R., Hillman T., Mount R., Possingham H., Saunders D., Smith T., Thackway R., Thom B., and Cosier P. (2015) Technical Analysis of the Australian Regional Environmental Accounts Trial. Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, Sydney. ISBN 978-0-9944577-1-4


We would like to thank many people for their invaluable contributions, expert advice and assistance in preparing methods and approaches for the environmental accounts. We also acknowledge the 10 NRM regions that contributed to the trial: Central West Catchment Management Authority, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, Namoi Catchment Management Authority, Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula, North Central Catchment Management Authority, Northern Agricultural Catchments Council, Northern Gulf Resource Management Group, NRM North, Queensland Murray-Darling Committee, South East Queensland Catchments. A full list of contributors is provided in Supplementary Material 6 of the Technical Report. We also thank Carley Bartlett, Dr Ian Ball, Dr George Argyrous and Dr Celine Steinfeld for assistance with manuscript preparation. We are grateful to Dr Neil Byron, Brad Page and Carl Obst for comments on previous drafts. We also gratefully acknowledge the funding support from the Purves Environmental Fund and The Ian Potter Foundation, without which this work would not be possible.