Protecting our planet is an issue on the global stage, and those with environmental research skills are in high demand. This course is ideal for those wanting to take the first step towards an environmental consultant career, or as a professional development course for those who are skilled in this area but would like to “sell” their expertise effectively.
The Certificate of Environmental Assessment will teach you how to use your knowledge of plant and animal ecology and identification to undertake and leverage environmental research.
You will study the basics of environmental study design, analysis and reporting within a legal framework, and the assessment techniques that have been developed and used around the world.
You will also learn about report structure, presentation and layout, review and leverage a variety of Environmental Impact Statements, and develop your networking skills which is a vital skill to have in this ever-changing industry.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking this course that will assist you with securing an environmental consultant career include:
- Learning about the principles of environmental assessment
- Exploring pre-purchase inspection sites, gathering baseline data and survey and sampling methods
- Gaining an understanding of assessing environmental impacts
- Studying open space management plans
- Gaining insights into license compliance
- Examining multi-disciplinary teams
- Understanding how to employ specialists
- Learning about ethics and environment assessment
- Exploring the origins of environmental assessment
- Gaining an understanding of the environmental assessment process
- Studying the importance of good scoping and the methods of environmental assessment
- Gaining insights into environmental law including international environmental law and its milestones
- Examining the principles of environmental law
- Understanding the institutions that influence environmental law
- Learning about impact assessment
- Exploring the differences between international and domestic law
- Gaining an understanding of evolving domestic law
- Studying domestic environmental policy strategies
- Gaining insights into the types of environmental assessment
- Examining environmental auditing
- Understanding regional risk screening
- Learning about ecological risk, fauna impact, ecological impact and health impact assessments
- Exploring economic and fiscal impact, strategic environment (SEA) and cumulative impact assessments
- Gaining an understanding of the design and process of environmental assessment
- Studying the steps in the environmental assessment process
- Gaining insights into screening, scoping, the collection and analysis of information and public consultation
- Understanding reposting study findings
- Learning about impact prediction and evaluation, impact identification methods and data collection and presentation
- Exploring basic mathematical principles and the statistical analysis of data
- Gaining an understanding of descriptive and inferential statistics
- Studying analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the Chi-square test
- Gaining insights into writing environmental reports and report structure
- Examining environmental statements
- Understanding layouts and examples of environmental impact statements
Australia’s Environment Assessment and Approval Process
Australia is home to many plants, animals and habitats that are found nowhere else on earth and therefore it is important we protect them. If you are keen to undertake an environmental consultant career, it is important you understand Australia’s environmental laws.
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) ensures “nationally significant” animals, plants, habitats and heritage places are identified, and any potential negative impacts are carefully considered before changes in new developments or land use are approved.
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is responsible for managing the environmental assessment and approval process under the EPBC Act. The Act ensures that developers, companies, governments, landowners and individuals seek Commonwealth approval in addition to state and territory or local government approvals if their plans might significantly impact on matters of national significance. The Australian Government continuously updates this list, and a common set of processes is used for all applications.
There are nine matters of national significance that come under the EPBC Act:
- World Heritage properties
- National heritage places
- Wetlands of international importance (listed under the Ramsar Convention)
- Listed threatened species and ecological communities
- Migratory species protected under international agreements
- Commonwealth marine areas
- Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
- Nuclear actions (including uranium mines)
- A water resource, in relation to coal seam gas development and large coal mining development
The History of International Environment Law
Learning about the history of International Environment Law (IEL) is a fascinating component of an environmental consultant career. But where did this global discipline come from and how has it evolved?
The rules of IEL have not been dictated by an international authority or a national institution. Rather, they are a collection of treaties, declarations and rules — some voluntary and some binding — that have developed alongside scientific awareness and knowledge of the current state of our natural world.
The history of IEL can be divided into three stages and is separated by two of the most relevant international conferences held so far — the Stockholm Conference in 1972, and the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992. In 2016, with the signing of the Paris Agreement, a new platform began to confront humanity’s most important natural challenge — the current climate emergency.
The Stockholm Declaration
Before the 1960s, there was little environmental awareness and only a few isolated international environmental regulatory initiatives. It was in this decade that public opinion really became aware of the dangers threatening the planet. The Stockholm Declaration was devised in 1972 and was the first international document to recognise the right of individuals to a healthy environment.
The Declaration also established the Principle of Cooperation, which recognised that countries should unite in their efforts to meet the global challenges of our shared environment. At this time, UN General Assembly also created the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which is the central body in charge of environmental affairs today.
In 1983, the UN created the World Commission on Environment and Development, known as the Brundtland Commission. Its work, which focused on the difficult relationship between environment and development, resulted in the report Our Common Future (1987). This document mirrored the concept of sustainable development, which is the basis for the evolution of IEL.
At this time, some of the global environmental problems that still afflict us today began to manifest themselves, including risks to biological diversity, the depletion of the ozone layer, and the threat of climate change. In 1987, the Montreal Protocol was signed to combat the depletion of the ozone layer.
Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit
During this Conference in 1992, two conventions were presented to be signed by national governments: the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Rio Declaration was also established, which reaffirmed the Stockholm Declaration and the Agenda 21 action program, which continues to guide governments and non-state actors in environmental protection activities, and the central concept continued to be sustainable development.
After the Rio Summit
After the summit in Rio, all major economic treaties began to include environmental protection. A case in point is the Marrakech Agreement, which created the World Trade Organization in 1994, and was the first economic treaty to recognise the goals of sustainable development and environmental protection.
The Convention on Climate Change of 1995 deserves special mention since its signatories have met every year at the Conference of the Parties (COP). Within this framework, in 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was presented. Despite not having been successful in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, it was the first international agreement to establish legally binding obligations for developed countries.
In 2000, 189 countries adopted the Millennium Declaration in New York, which strengthened the importance of sustainable development by recognising the need for sustainable economic growth with a focus on the poor and respect for human rights.
Two years later, in 2002, representatives from 190 countries attended the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg to follow up on the commitments of the Rio Summit. On that occasion, they adopted the Declaration on Sustainable Development,.
In 2012, the UN organised the third Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio + 20, which brought together 192 Member States, private sector companies, NGOs, and other organisations. The result was a non-binding document called The Future We Want. In this document, States renewed their commitment to sustainable development and the promotion of a sustainable future.
The Kyoto Protocol to address climate change gave way to the Paris Agreement in 2016. In this agreement, the signatory countries committed themselves to do everything possible to prevent the average temperature of the planet from rising by 2°C, compared to pre-industrial levels and hopefully staying below a 1.5°C rise.
Gain the skills to undertake your own environmental research assessment project and present it as a professional report to test your skills for an environmental consultant career with our Certificate of Environmental Assessment.