Ecosystem data integration to support national environmental reporting
A river meandering through a forest
Who will benefit
Researchers, research organisations, government (state and Commonwealth) and data analysts

The Challenge

Australia’s State of the Environment (SoE) report is produced every 5 years to meet the federal government’s statutory reporting obligations. It relies extensively on high-quality national biodiversity and environmental data. Integrating data from NCRIS facilities like the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) and the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) will support reporting and analysis needs and any future environmental prediction system.

The Response

Launched in mid-2022, EcoAssets serves a policy- and industry-ready collection of open, integrated biodiversity and monitoring activity datasets from ALA, TERN and IMOS that are findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR). This will add significant value to the SoE report and other activities such as environmental accounting and impact assessments.  

The EcoAssets project has achieved the following:

Alignment with SoE report requirements

Priority data assets have been refined for ALA, TERN and IMOS, respectively.

Enhanced data pipelines

Internal data pipelines for ALA, TERN and IMOS have been enhanced to feed into EcoAssets and deliver early versions of the data assets.

Versioned access of data assets

Versioned access, including presentation via an online summary catalogue, is in place for the data assets.

Public versions of data assets

Data assets are now available for use and reference by SoE chapter authors.

Data pipelines established

Data pipelines have been established as part of the persistent and lasting data infrastructure for ALA, TERN and IMOS.

Wider data asset discovery

The data assets can now be discovered through national information platforms including the ARDC Research Data Commons, the ARDC-supported EcoCommons, NSW Seed, and Plans are in place for discovery through international platforms.

Who Will Benefit

Researchers, research organisations, government (state and Commonwealth) and data analysts will benefit from the project’s core features, namely:

  • improvements to data pipelines that offer standard views of the biodiversity component of data collected during TERN and IMOS field programs for aggregation with ALA data streams
  • aggregation of similar data about species distribution and monitoring activities from partners that will serve as reference assets and a baseline for future environmental assessment
  • a single set of data for major environmental products from the NCRIS infrastructures with standardised metadata, spatial and temporal units and other facets to support SoE.

The Partners

  • ALA
  • TERN
  • IMOS
  • Australian Government Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW)


EcoAssets is now live with 7 species distribution datasets and 4 monitoring effort datasets publicly and freely available for biodiversity reporting and assessment. Data linkages and summary formats are in place for easy access. Data pipelines have also been created to ensure each data asset can be updated at regular intervals.

Key Resources

Contact the ARDC

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November 2020 to April 2023

Current Phase


ARDC Co-investment


Project lead

Atlas of Living Australia (ALA)