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

4 June 2005

Australia celebrates World Environment Day as high-level whales mission escalates


As Australians and the rest of the world celebrate their environment this weekend, Australia will continue on its international campaign to protect whales from a resumption of commercial whaling, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.

“On Sunday we will celebrate World Environment Day, and in doing so, one of the things Australia will be doing is persisting with its attempts to build support for a ban on commercial whaling.”

Senator Ian Campbell spent this week in Europe in discussions with key ministers of a number of member nations of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), including France, Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden. Senator Campbell will follow the European mission with meetings with Pacific countries next week.

The 57th meeting of the IWC in Ulsan, Korea, in late June will consider a proposal from Japan that, if agreed, will result in the lifting of the 20-year moratorium on commercial whaling. Japan is also proposing to increase its ‘scientific’ whaling in Antarctic waters.

Australia has also this week led a high level international group of 15 countries to raise concerns directly with the Japanese Government about its proposal.

“The enormous community response to this issue highlights how strongly Australians feel about whale conservation,” Senator Campbell said.

“I am also always impressed by the efforts being made more broadly by the community to to protect their local environment.”

The United Nations has declared this the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, and this Sunday World Environment Day. The theme for the day this year is Green Cities.

In addition to joining the campaign to protect our whales, there is a range of other things people can do to improve their environment. For example, turning off your television instead of leaving it on standby can save up to 85 kilograms of greenhouse gases each year. Setting up your refrigerators and freezers in cool spots, out of the sun and away from ovens, will save up to another 100 kilograms of greenhouse gas each year.

Recycling glass and paper and taking re-usable bags to the shops will also go a long way to improving our environment.

For information about what you can do to protect your environment, visit www.deh.gov.au

Media Contact: Marianne McCabe 02 6277 7640 or 0400 389 580

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