Boil, or just SIMR?

SIMR (the System for Indicator Monitoring and Reporting) is a new paradigm in State of the Environment Reporting. Instead of ramping up major resources for the production of a 'glossy' state of the environment report five years, SIMR is an efficient infrastructure for continuous monitoring and reporting based on environmental indicators.

Australia, like most other countries, is committed through legislation to producing a national state of the environment report every five years. In 1996 and 2001 we had to commit considerable resources to collating information and writing and publishing the report. Experts in the field agree that environmental indicators represent the most accurate and efficient method of environmental reporting, but to our knowledge SIMR, which automates collecting, managing and reporting on environmental indicators, is the first time this concept has been taken to its natural conclusion.

Like most 'systems', the quality of the output depends on the quality of the input. SIMR depends on the quality of the procedures associated with the selection of the environmental indicators and the associated data.

SIMR has two components, a database system and code that generates dynamic web forms, reports and emails. Along with the data, the database stores details about the indicators such as 'who is the custodian?', 'why choose this indicator?', 'how and when is this indicator measured?', 'when should indicator data be evaluated and reported on?', 'what are the research implications?'.

Instrumentation being linked to SIMR will allow it to directly acquire indicator data. In the case of most indicators, SIMR automatically prompts indicator custodians when new data or an evaluation is required and collects both via the web. Reporting on indicator status, data, custodians or any aspect of the system can be done at any time via the web.

So rather than boil every five years, we just SIMR away!

See more information on the State of the Environment Report. We will be reporting fully on developments in the next issue of Australian Antarctic Magazine.

Lee Belbin
Australian Antarctic Data Centre Manager,
Australian Antarctic Division