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

11 May 2006

Australia and South Africa in climate change partnership

Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today announced the establishment of a bilateral climate change partnership between Australia and the Republic of South Africa.

Senator Campbell said the partnership would focus on collaboration on climate change adaptation, particularly in the areas of biodiversity and broad acre agriculture, in addition to exchanging experience and lessons learned in implementing climate change policies and programmes.

Senator Campbell said this partnership was an important addition to Australia’s suite of bilateral partnerships with key countries.

"These bilateral partnerships are an important element of Australia’s multi-track approach to working with the international community to develop an environmentally effective, economically efficient and socially responsible global response to climate change," Senator Campbell said.

"Bilateral partnerships are essential in the constantly changing world of climate change because it is through the sharing of information and ideas that we can benefit from each others experiences and also develop new ways to manage and adapt to climate change on an international level."

Australia and South Africa have many similarities and there are considerable benefits to be gained by working together to address adaptation and climate change mitigation. The two southern hemisphere countries both have significant land masses prone to drought, with remote communities, high levels of agriculture and grazing, large reserves of natural resources, and sustainability pressures on associated land and water resources. Both countries also have a high dependence on fossil fuels for energy, and are significant energy exporters.

In announcing the partnership, Ministers noted that "as primary producers, Australia and South Africa share many similar concerns in the areas of agriculture and land management and there is much to be gained through working together to examine approaches to adaptation in these areas".

Senator Campbell and Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the South African Minister for Environmental Affairs and Tourism, met in New York this week during the fourteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Australia has bilateral climate change partnerships with the US, China, New Zealand, the European Union and Japan.

Media Contacts:
Media Contact: Fiona Guthrie (New York) +1 212 351 6634 or +1 917 494 4395
Marianne McCabe (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0400 389 580

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