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Transformative evaluation: State of the Environment Reporting framed by the UN SDGs


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Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability Dr Gillian Sparkes' keynote address on October 30, 2019 at the 2019 Energy Evaluation Asia Pacific Conference in Bangkok, Thailand

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Transformative evaluation: State of the Environment Reporting framed by the UN SDGs

  1. 1. Dr.Gillian Sparkes Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability 30 October 2019 Transformativeevaluation: State of the Environment Reporting framed by the UN SDGs
  2. 2. Where is Victoria?
  3. 3. Fastestgrowingofanystatein Australia As Victoria’s population and economycontinue to grow, it is important to understand both the state of our natural environmentand the benefits that wederive from it.
  4. 4. Wearealigning Victoriawithinternationalenvironmentalreporting frameworksandrewiring thesystemso thatthe SDGsframeenvironmental monitoringandreportingin Victoria.
  5. 5. Victoriais takingthe lead onapplying the SDGs forenvironmental reporting
  6. 6. • SDGs provide an internationallyagreed frameworkthat can help us tell a broader story about our progress to ecologically sustainable development • Theyhelp describe the benefits of a healthyenvironmentto our economy and community • Help us havemoreinformedconversations and debates about multiple outcomes • Provide standardised reporting How do the SDGs help? Image from StockholmResilienceCentre
  7. 7. Ecologicallysustainabledevelopment? Indicators havebeenthemissing link– theSDGschangethat ImplementingtheSDGsinanauthorizingenvironment
  8. 8. Wereporton thestateofVictoria’senvironment tohelp government, business andthe communitytakepracticalaction
  9. 9. The 2018 #SoE tellsthree stories 1. Thecurrenthealthof Victoria’snaturalenvironment 2. Theadequacyofourscience 3. Futurefocus:whatweneed todo
  10. 10. Speaker: Dr.Gillian Sparkes, Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability March,2019 SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONSAND SDG TARGETS FOR FUTURE REPORTING
  11. 11. 20 Recommendationsinclude… ClimateChangeImpacts:Improvelocalised climate projectionparticularlyin agriculturalregions to reducethe uncertaintiesassociatedwith rainfallprojections. Biodiversity: Establishingthe positionof achief biodiversityscientist forVictoriaandresourcing permanentenvironmentalprotectionmeasureson privateland. Forests: Improvestatewideunderstandingofthe impactsofforestfragmentationonforest- dependentspecies including anauthoritativelist ofVictorianforest-dependentspecies. SpatialInformation:Improvedatacapabilityofall government environmentalprogramsincluding andimprovethe coherenceandimpactofpubliclyfundedscientific research. Energy:ImprovedataandmeasurementsthattrackthetransitionofVictoria’sgrid, transportand industryinfrastructuretosupportalow-carbonfuture.
  12. 12. The Big Issues Climate Change Impacts Assessments highlight three key issues: Theextent oftheproblem Theurgencyrequiredtomitigateandadapt to itsinfluence Theneedto improvelocalisedclimateprojections
  13. 13. Energy Recommendations 15. ThatDELWPestablishasetof indicators,andimplementmeasuresto collectappropriatedata, totrackthe impact ofenergyemissionsreductionto meet interimtargetsset undertheClimateChangeAct 2017.Thereportingshould alsotrackthetransitionofVictoria’sgrid,transportandindustryinfrastructuretosupporta low-carbonfuture. UNSDGtargets for future reporting– 13.2,13.3 Challenges the recommendation addresses Reducinggreenhousegas emissionsfrom energyisVictoria'sprincipalchallengetomeet itsgreenhousegasemissions reductiongoals.
  14. 14. Energy Recommendations 16. ThatDELWPimplementmeasuresto collectdataand tracktheimpact of thetransitiontoa low- emissionselectricitysystemon UNSDGtargets for future reporting –7.2,13.3 (i)consumersentimentandbehaviour, (ii)investmentindistributed,lowand zero-emissionselectricitygeneration,and (iii)the associatedmarkets,governanceandbusinessmodels. Challenges the recommendation addresses VictorianconsumerswilldriveVictoria'stransitiontoitsnet-zeroemissionstarget. Itiscriticalto collectdataandbuildanevidencebase to supportVictoriansandunderstandtheirneedsandchoicesanddevelopappropriatemarkets andbusinessmodelstoservethem.
  15. 15. To applytheSDG targetstoour environmentalreporting frameworkwedevelopeda seven-stageprocess 1. Mapping 2. Segmentation 3. Testing 4. Data Discovery 5. Sense Checking 6. Prioritising 7. Reporting
  16. 16. PHASE 1:DesktopMapping The firstphasewastomapexisting environmentalindicators,againstall 169SDG targets.Wefoundstrongalignment -a reflectionofthe pragmatismof theSDGs. OUTCOME: ExistingSoEindicatorsmappedtoSDGtargets.
  17. 17. PHASE 2:Segmentation Assessedall 169SDG targetsagainst3 keycriteria.Does thetargetdemonstrate– benefitsof ecosystemservices, impactofsociety onecosystemservices andrelevance toVictoria? OUTCOME: Identified SDGtargetspotentiallyaligned withSoEreportingin Victoria. SDG Targets Out of Scope 118 Biophysical SoE indicators (definite) 21 Socio-economic SoE indicators (nominal) 30 Total 169
  18. 18. PHASE 3:“Stresstesting”withingovernmentwithpolicy experts OUTCOME: Verified efficacyofprocesstoPhase2. 30SDGtargetsgo tonextphase.
  19. 19. PHASE 4:One-on-one discussions withstakeholders& potentialdatacustodians(governmentand NGOs) OUTCOME: Availabledata(andgaps)identified for30SDG targets. First time in thisprocessthatdataavailabilityis considered Key questions: • Whatdataexists? • How is thecurrentdatabeing used? • Wouldthey(how wouldthey)usethe proposeddata?
  20. 20. OUTCOME: Supportforprocessanddecision to go tobroaderengagement to prioritise30SDG targets. It wasagreed bytheCommissioner’s ReferenceGroup thatthe ultimatepurposeoftheinitiativetoinclude SDGtargetsaspartof SoEreportingshould beto: • EnsureVictoriahasthedatais needs in ordertomakethe bestdecisions toprotectand improvethe environment • Influencedecision-makers • Improveenvironmentaloutcomes • Enhanceecologically sustainabledevelopment PHASE 5:Sensechecking–consultingexternalenvironmental NGOs andexperts
  21. 21. OUTCOME: Prioritised30SDG targetsto includein VictorianStateofthe Environmentreporting. PHASE 6:Prioritising.Livepollingwith120thoughtleadersfrom across theState
  22. 22. The workshopalso increased awarenessand understanding of the SDGs with leadersfrom across Victoria
  23. 23. PHASE 7:Reporting OUTCOME: 2018Victorian SoE report aligned with SDGs. Victoria has commencedthe transition to the SDGs as the frameworkfor state of environmentreporting – reflecting our need to report on both the state of the environmentand the benefits that society derives from it. Collatingdataagainst52(21+30 +1) SDGtargetsforthe firsttime bythe Commissioner for EnvironmentalSustainability.The findingswerepresented in the2018VictorianStateofthe EnvironmentReport,tabledin theVictorianParliament19March 2019.
  24. 24. “Putting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals under the microscope to determine which are the most relevant to environmental reporting in Victoria is a crucial step in achieving meaningful, high quality and transparent reporting.” Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP Minister for Energy,Environmentand Climate change
  25. 25. THANK YOU @CommissionerforEnvironmentalSustainability @GillianSparkes @CommissionerVic @ces_victoria