The Essential Environmental Measures programme is currently being piloted with the native vegetation and marine communities. The programme collaborates with a network of representatives from the Australian Government, state and territory governments and the research community (for both sectors) to test the programme approach and to help shape the programme's end products.

Over time the program will identify and publish essential environmental measures for nine themes: land, biodiversity, the marine environment, atmosphere, inland water, the Antarctic environment, heritage, the built environment and coasts.