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

16 June 2005

Australia launches UN decade with grants for environmental education


University, community and industry groups across the country are gearing up to launch a raft of new environmental education projects today, thanks to $256,000 in new Environmental Education Grants announced by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell.

The grants constitute the Australian launch of the United Nationsí Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, and highlight the Australian Governmentís ongoing commitment to environmental education.

"Today we kick-start 12 new projects aimed at reaching past the school room to involve industry and higher education providers in environmental education," he said.

The first of the grants will fund a one-day national symposium in Melbourne to help set Australiaís objectives for the Decade and discuss the way forward. It will bring together 60 Australian experts on environmental education and important stakeholders, including our youth, Indigenous people, university educators, business and industry, and all levels of government.

"Australia is already acknowledged as a global leader in environmental management, but there is still much to be done. The Decade is our chance to join together as a nation to work out what we want to achieve over the next 10 years, and how we can make it happen together," Senator Campbell said.

"This symposium will give all parts of our community a voice in the planning process. It is the first step in developing a national approach to the Decade at the grassroots level."

The National Symposium is an initiative of the Australian National Commission for UNESCO and is hosted by RMIT University in partnership with the Victorian Catholic Education Office.

Other projects funded this year include a Gould League of Victoria plan to develop community sustainability approaches with local government, and a training package that the Natural Edge Project of the Australian Institute of Engineers will develop to help university engineering students come up with sustainable engineering solutions through Whole of System design.

"The grants follow the announcement of Lizzie Corke on World Environment Day as the Prime Ministerís Environmentalist of the Year for 2005," Senator Campbell said.

"This outstanding young Australian is making a major contribution to education as a co-founder and director of the Cape Otway Centre for Conservation Ecology, and I hope she serves as an example for other young Australians to strive for great environmental education achievements."

For more information on the Environmental Education Grants and a full list of recipients, visit http://www.deh.gov.au/education/programs/index.html.

Media Contact:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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