Collaborative project delivers ground-breaking initiative

A cross-agency collaboration has delivered The Index of Biodiversity Surveys for Assessments (IBSA) system which will maximize the value of existing biodiversity data.
Date: Tuesday, 05 June 2018

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) has worked collaboratively with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute (WABSI) to deliver a new system that captures vital biodiversity data and makes it available to the public.

The Index of Biodiversity Surveys for Assessments (IBSA) is a ground-breaking initiative that will unlock biodiversity data contained in land-based field surveys conducted as part of the environmental approvals process.

About $38 million is spent each year collecting biodiversity data but until now this information has not been centralised or publicly available. Creating a register of this data means more efficiencies for the public and private sector.

DMIRS Acting Executive Director, Resource and Environmental Compliance, Karen Caple congratulated the DWER team for getting the project up and running.

“The system will improve the availability of information for proponents, reduce costs and delays associated with poor availability of biodiversity data and will allow government, industry and the community to get the maximum value from existing data,” said Ms Caple.

The objective of IBSA is to capture and consolidate data contained in biodiversity survey reports to support assessments and compliance under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 and to provide a platform to make the information publicly available. For DMIRS, this means that from 30 April 2018 all biodiversity survey reports submitted to DMIRS as part of Native Vegetation Clearing Permit assessment and compliance processes will need to be accompanied by IBSA data packages.

For more information see or to understand more about IBSA data packages please email DMIRS Environmental Officer, Emily Safe.