Discovering our region’s environment and biodiversity

Jurisdiction: Australian Capital Territory

How might ACT data encourage children and young people to appreciate and engage with Canberra’s environment and biodiversity?

Canberra is unique city, designed to include pockets of nature – we are truly the ‘bush capital’. While this is a nice tagline, it also speaks to the ‘spirit’ of Canberra, and plays a large part in our everyday lives – from our exercise routines to our routes to work.

The ACT Government Wellbeing Framework recognises ‘environment’ as a key indicator in individual and community wellbeing – including our connection to nature. This ‘connection’ is inherently tied to an appreciation of our environment’s importance and value. It follows that this connection would lead us to not only maintain, but nurture and care for the environment which is so critical to our wellbeing and way of living.

While there are numerous ways of building and strengthening this connection to nature, one often overlooked is the information and data recorded about our environment. Often, this information and data is thought of solely as either an administrative tool for bureaucrats, or a dust covered spreadsheet in a musky academic library. But, the information and data collected about our environment uncovers insights into our region that all should hear.

The ACT Government manages an enormous amount of data and information about Canberra’s environment and biodiversity. This data is key to many government processes, from assessing development applications to monitoring the health of our reserves and protected areas. While this information has great administrative utility, it also presents valuable insights into our region. These insights have potential to inspire the next generation of Canberrans to value and nurture our environment and biodiversity for generations to come.

However, the tools and knowledge required to make these insights discoverable are typically complex and inaccessible. These barriers are even more present for our children and young people.

Our children and young people need to form and strengthen their connection to nature not only for their own wellbeing, but also to tackle the challenges presented by climate change. This means we must develop and use all available tools to support our children and young people to discover, protect, and enjoy our region’s environment.

• How might ACT environment and geospatial data engage Canberra’s children and young people to discover our region’s environment and biodiversity?
• What methodologies or methods might make complex environmental data and information more engaging to Canberra’s children and young people?

Eligibility: Must use at least one ACT Government data set from the Geospatial Catalogue (

Entry: Challenge entry is available to all teams in Australia.

Dataset Highlight

Geospatial Data Catalogue

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Canberra Nature Map -

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Canberra Nature Map

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Canberra Vegetation Structure Map

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ACT Water Resources public register

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Native grasslands of ACT

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Threatened Fauna Habitat

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ACT Canopy Cover 2020 Statistics

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