Progress towards state-wide standard and targets
The Natural Resources Commission (the Commission) is required to provide the NSW Government with annual reports on its work, including the progress in achieving compliance with the state-wide standards and targets, and the effectiveness of the implementation of local strategic plans under the Local Land Services Act 2013 in achieving compliance with those standards and targets. Prior to 2014, this function covered the effectiveness of catchment action plans under the Catchment Management Act 2003.
We meet this requirement each year in statutory annual reports. In addition, we provide stand-alone progress reports to Government at major milestones.
In 2010, we completed a mid-term review of implementation of state-wide targets and catchment action plans, including individual snapshots of the then 13 catchment management authority regions across NSW.
In 2009, we made quantitative comments on progress towards the native vegetation extent and condition targets using data from the NSW Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Program.
In 2008, we reported on the effectiveness of implementation of catchment action plans in making progress towards the standard and targets.
In 2006, we reported progress on the development of catchment action plans and their place in current and future natural resource management in NSW.
2010 was a milestone year for natural resource management in NSW. It was the midpoint for implementation of the 10 year state-wide targets and catchment action plans. To track how the model was working, the Commission undertook a mid-term review.
The review was based on:
- our comprehensive audits of how effectively catchment action plans were being implemented
- available resource condition data from the NSW Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Program
- best available knowledge on how well the institutional framework, the Standard, targets, state-wide policies, plans and investments are all supporting each other.
Overall, the review concluded that the NSW regional model for natural resource management is an effective mechanism for supporting land managers to manage their land better for both public and private benefit. However, it was too early, given the extent of historical landscape degradation, to see whether these local successes were adding up to a state-wide improvement in the health of NSW water, land, biodiversity and communities.
Our report (available below) provides details of review findings and recommendations, including individual snapshots of the then 13 catchment management authority regions across NSW.
In November 2009, the Commission reported on an assessment of progress made towards the native vegetation target ("By 2015, there is an increase in native vegetation extent and an improvement in native vegetation condition”) by utilising the existing monitoring, evaluation and reporting data, and available analysis.
The report found that:
- there had been no net change in the extent of woody native vegetation across the state between 2002 and 2008
- baselines for native vegetation extent and condition had been established for 2006
- extent of native vegetation cover across the state in 2006 was 19-23 percent woody and 40-64 percent non-woody
- condition of vegetation across the state in 2006 was 68 percent native and 32 percent non-native.
To assess progress being made towards this target, we worked in close partnership with the then Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water to collate all available information from a range of state and federal agencies. A panel of recognised natural resource management scientific experts then independently analysed and verified the collated information to make an assessment on progress.
The snapshot, and the supporting technical report and analysis are available below.
In November 2008, the Commission provided a progress report on effective implementation of catchment action plans. The report was largely based on our audits of how effectively seven of the then 13 catchment management authorities (CMAs) were implementing their catchment action plans.
Overall, we found that the regional model for natural resource management was well established. The CMAs were delivering clear results on the ground, working with their communities to better manage the land, and building understanding around the native vegetation reforms. The report also identified opportunities for improvement, both by CMAs and their partners.
Our report (available below) made six recommendations to improve natural resource management in NSW.
In September 2006, the Commission provided an overarching progress report on development of catchment action plans.
At this time, we had reviewed the eight completed catchment action plans, and submitted individual reports and recommendations on these plans. We had also reviewed drafts of the remaining catchment action plans.
The overarching report explained the ‘big picture’ context in which the catchment action plans were prepared, and provided an overview of our assessment of them, the key areas for improvement, and the assistance required from government agencies. The report also outlined the next stage in the evolution of catchment action plans, and explained how the model for natural resource management should be modified to better support CMAs during this stage.
Development of catchment action plans (September 2006)