The OECD have called for advancements to be made in environmental monitoring and evaluation in Australia. In the third Environmental Performance Review of Australia, the OECD provides 50 recommendations to help Australia better manage its environment. The recommendations relate to climate change, waste, water, biodiversity and chemical management, environmental governance and management, and green growth.
The report contains recommendations for improving specific environmental-economic accounts and calls for the use of environmental-economic accounts in government budget documents. There are further recommendations relating to measuring and monitoring the environment, and the evaluation of environmental outcomes more generally.
Where such recommendations are made, the principles of environmental-economic accounting can be employed. The principles provide a common approach to measurement that facilitates comparison and aggregation across different spatial scales. The accounts can be used to improve decision making, transparency and compliance, and help to build positive perceptions of the environment.
The recommendations are a timely message from the OECD given the issues we are currently experiencing in the Murray Darling Basin. Perhaps better accounting for our environmental assets and water could help prevent future catastrophes.