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The Ecosystem Science Council responds to the call for better monitoring of Australia's biodiversity and ecosystems

The Ecosystem Science Council has launched a community-inspired proposal for a national capability to reform current monitoring and predicting changes in Australia's biodiversity and ecosystems. This was in response to repeated calls to improve the collection, integration and delivery of ecosystem data and knowledge to enable accurate reporting, wise policy making and successful management of Australia's environments in an uncertain climate future.

In 2017 Council developed a community-based proposal for an enduring ecosystem monitoring and prediction capability for Australia. It was widely distributed to the ecosystem science community and government including, the Minister for the Environment and Energy, The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN), Ecological Society of Australia and the Australian Academy of Science's National Committee for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation.

The idea for an Ecological Monitoring and Management Agency (EMMA) was first aired during a plenary talk by the Council's Chair Professor Glenda Wardle to the Australia-New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics (ANZSEE) conference held in Adelaide. Participants at that conference endorsed the idea as 'EMMA'. The vision is for an independent agency sitting within a relevant Commonwealth department – parallel to the Bureau of Meteorology. The BOM has an excellent record of reporting and forecasting climate data for Australia and the Council on behalf of the ecosystem science community hopes EMMA would do the same for ecosystems.

You can download the full proposal here.