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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
1 September 2002
Australia will be continuing to promote sustainable development beyond Johannesburg, leading 12 voluntary partnerships and participating in more than six others.
The partnerships include global and regional initiatives, involve more than 50 countries and scores of international, national and regional bodies and will impact on most parts of the world - particularly developing countries in the Asia Pacific.
They cover issues ranging from energy efficiency, air pollution, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine biodiversity and illegal fishing to HIV/AIDS.
Announcing Australia's partnerships at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Australia's Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, thanked the many governments, businesses, non-government organisations, research bodies and others who had agreed to work with Australia to put the principles of sustainable development into practice.
"These partnerships are where the real progress will be made in implementing sustainable development," he said. "They will make a difference where it matters and go a long way towards combating poverty in the developing world.
"Australians can be proud of the fact, for example, that at Johannesburg we have made major progress in sustainable fishing and in protecting marine biodiversity. We have arranged to work with our Pacific Island neighbours to help them deal with the effects of climate change, and with the US and Mexico on working for major energy gains in developing countries. And across South Africa, farmers are joining our joint South African-Australian landcare programs.
"These are just some of the areas in which Australia is taking a lead by sharing expertise and bringing bodies together to make a combined assault on global problems," Dr Kemp said.
Australia's Summit partnerships have a strong focus on oceans management, with seven partnerships to conserve biodiversity in the high seas, protect migratory shorebirds, crack down on illegal fishing, protecting coral reefs, and help Pacific nations develop oceans policy.
They also reflect Australia's commitment to the Asia Pacific region, with proposals to help Pacific Island countries deal with the effects of climate change and an HIV/AIDS program in Southeast Asia.
"Each of these partnerships relates directly to and gives effect to a formal commitment of the Summit," Dr Kemp said. "In many ways, the real work of the Summit begins once delegates return home to put these partnerships into effect."
Dr Peter Poggioli: (Johannesburg) +61412 970 063
Devena Wahlstrom (Canberra) (02) 6277 7640 or 0412 257 334