The National Environmental Research Program (NERP) provided around $20 million each year for environmental research to improve our capacity to understand, manage and conserve Australia's unique biodiversity and ecosystems through the generation of world-class research, and its delivery to Australian environmental decision-makers and other stakeholders.
On 6 December 2010 the Minister announced that five research hubs would be funded by the then Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities under the NERP. Up to $68.5 million in funding over 4 years will be made available to provide first-class science that is essential for sustainably managing Australia's environment.
- NERP Tropical Ecosystems Hub — Science Leader: Dr Peter Doherty, Australian Institute of Marine Science
- NERP Environmental Decisions Hub — Director: Prof Hugh Possingham, University of Queensland
- NERP Northern Australia Hub — Director: Prof Michael Douglas, Charles Darwin University
- NERP Landscapes and Policy Hub — Director: Prof Ted Lefroy, University of Tasmania
- NERP Marine Biodiversity Hub — Director: Prof Nic Bax, University of Tasmania
The National Environmental Research Program provides for applied public good research that addresses the programs overall objective to:
improve our capacity to understand, manage and conserve Australia's unique biodiversity and ecosystems through the generation of world-class research and its delivery to Australian environmental decision makers and other stakeholders.
It builds on the lessons learned from the Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities (CERF) program, replacing that program and focusing more specifically on biodiversity and improving research delivery to the Australian Government, other end-users and stakeholders.
NERP funding will be allocated for biodiversity research and will deliver information that the Australian Government needs to better inform environmental management, policy and decision making, both in the short-term and into the future. This includes understanding how ecosystems function, monitoring their health, maintaining and building their resilience, using them sustainably and exploring how to better use markets to protect biodiversity.
The NERP seeks to achieve its objectives by providing around $20 million each year to support applied research that:
- has a strong public-good focus and public-good outcome
- is end-user focused and addresses the needs of the Australian Government and other stakeholders in developing evidence-based policy and improving management of the Australian environment
- is highly innovative and aims to achieve world-class research and an international standing in the chosen field of research
- enhances Australia's environmental research capacity
- is collaborative and builds critical mass by drawing on multiple disciplines from multiple research institutions to address challenging research questions
- provides results accessible to government, industry and the community, and
- includes focussing on synthesis and analysis of existing knowledge.