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The first ever independent nationwide assessment of the status of Australia's environment.
Introduction: what constitutes the environment?; approach to state of the environment reporting; the pressure-state-response reporting model; the reporting process; how to use this report. Portrait of Australia: an unusual continent; humans in the environment; managing our environment. Human settlements: metabolism of settlements; technological and economic forces shaping settlements; population dynamics and patterns of Australian settlements; livability - the human dimension; social amenity issues; health in Australian settlements; resource inputs and their indicators; waste outputs and their indicators; development constraints and opportunities; sustainable infrastructure plans and indicators; settlement capacity. Biodiversity: human population; harvesting resources and land use; introduced species; pollution; mining; climate change; the state of ecosystem diversity; the state of species diversity; genetic diversity; responses to key issues. The atmosphere: climate of Australia; sources of emissions; global-scale pressures; regional-scale pressures; local scale pressures; natural variability; atmospheric dispersion and transport; airsheds; enhanced greenhouses effect; stratospheric ozone loss; national ambient air quality monitoring; urban air quality; air quality in regional airsheds; long-range transport and acid deposition; air quality and the environment; indoor air quality; key issues in air quality assessment. Land resources: general pressures; indirect and proximate pressure; changes in land cover; changes in land condition; impact of pest animals and plants; soils; land use and land tenure; is Australian agriculture sustainable?; land clearing; forests; land conservation legislation; landcare - a community response. Inland waters: direct pressures and their significance; indirect pressures; water resources; flooding; catchment pollutant sources; impact of forestry; groundwater; habitat quality and biota; water quality; eutrophication of inland and costal waters. Estuaries and the sea: coastal margin development; contaminants; fishing; mining; transport and shipping; plants and animals; seafood quality; water quality; sediments; nitrogen and phosphorous in coastal waters; seagrasses of Australia; Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Natural and cultural heritage: values and meanings; wilderness; heritage registers; pressures on heritage places; cultural values of natural landscapes; pressures on heritage objects; state of heritage places; state of heritage objects; responses - heritage places; responses - heritage objects; tourism and the environment. (Part contents).