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Media Release
Acting Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz

8 May 2006

New projects to protect neighbourhood biodiversity


The Australian Government has reinforced its commitment to protect regional biodiversity by announcing the successful projects to receive $1 million in funding in the third round of the $10 million Regional Natural Heritage Programme (RNHP).

Making the announcement today, the Acting Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Eric Abetz, said the programme was actively helping to protect the significant biodiversity hotspots in our region, and this funding round would enable this work to continue.

"Australia has a strong record of protecting biodiversity and supporting the Asia-Pacific region," Senator Abetz said.

"We have been working closely with regional governments, non-government organisations and communities to protect biodiversity hotspots, while remaining sensitive to the challenges of sustainable development in the South-East Asia and Pacific region.

"We received many outstanding applications for worthwhile conservation projects around the region. The Minister for the Environment and Heritage has made a decision to support six projects that help to protect marine and terrestrial biodiversity in five neighbouring countries."

Senator Abetz said projects to be funded aim to:

Launched by the Prime Minister on 18 February 2004, the programme is providing $10 million over three years to help conserve biodiversity hotspots in Australia's region. These initiatives build on the successes of current Regional Natural Heritage Programme projects.

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

Media contacts:
Brad Stansfield 0419 884 666

Commonwealth of Australia