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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

3 November 2004

$4.2 million to help save our region's 'biodiversity hotspots'


The Australian Government is about to invest $4.2 million to help its Asia-Pacific neighbours protect their biologically diverse areas currently under threat.

Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today announced the 2004-2005 funding round for the Regional Natural Heritage Programme (RNHP) to address 'biodiversity hotspots'.

"This is a three-year, $10 million programme and in the coming year we will spend $4.2 million to protect species and habitats in these hotspots which are dangerously close to destruction ," Senator Campbell said.

"They may include coral reefs, rhinos, tigers and elephants and some of the world's most endangered primates.

"Australia is taking a leading role in the global effort to save the world's most precious species of animals and plants.

"We are thinking of the future and how we can ensure that we pass on to coming generations, the amazing natural diversity that we have ourselves inherited.

"Through the Australian Government's new programme we have funded projects which are helping to conserve Cambodia's elephants, protect Vietnam's most endangered monkeys and gibbons and to save the critically endangered seabird, the Fiji Petrel.

"Just north of us in Indonesia, we are funding a project to help reintroduce orang-utans into their natural habitat in Kalimantan.

"The 2004-2005 funding round will extend this vitally important work in our region and we look forward to supporting our neighbours in their efforts to save their outstanding natural heritage."

Further information about the Australian Government's Regional Natural Heritage Programme visit: www.deh.gov.au/heritage/programs/index.html#rnhp

Applications for funding will be accepted until close of business on 6 January 2005.

Commonwealth of Australia