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  • Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act1, 1900

The Constitution of Australia affirms in its Preamble its “respect for [the] unique land and the environment”.

According to the FAO Legal Office’s website, the Environment Protection Act, 1993, furnishes “specifications, among others, on the Environment Protection Fund, authorizations and related procedures, powers of authorised officers and the Public Register”.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999, lists its objectives in its 3rd Article:
(a) “to provide for the protection of the environment, especially those aspects of the environment that are matters of national environmental significance; and
(b) To promote ecologically sustainable development through the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of natural resources; and
(c) To promote the conservation of biodiversity; and to provide for the protection and conservation of heritage; and
(d) To promote a co operative approach to the protection and management of the environment involving governments, the community, land holders and indigenous peoples; and
(e) To assist in the co operative implementation of Australia’s international environmental responsibilities; and
(f) To recognize the role of indigenous people in the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of Australia’s biodiversity; and
(g) To promote the use of indigenous peoples’ knowledge of biodiversity with the involvement of, and in co operation with, the owners of the knowledge.”

The government of Australia published in 2011 the State of the Environment report, which, according to the official website, is written by an independent committee of experts and presents a comprehensive review of the state and trends of the environment; the pressures on it and the drivers of those pressures; management initiatives in place to address environmental concerns and the impacts of those initiatives; its resilience and the unmitigated risks that threaten it; and provide an overall outlook for the Australian environment.

Environmental issues are regulated by specific laws, under the Common Law, and they can be found on the website of the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

1. The official version of the Constitution Australia can be accessed here.