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

16 November 2006

Nairobi: Australia pledges to help reduce global deforestation

Australia is leading international efforts to reduce deforestation in developing countries and will host a United Nations conference next year as part of global efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, announced today in Nairobi.

Speaking during the high level segment of the United Nations annual climate change conference, Senator Campbell pledged $200,000 in Australian Government funding for the conference and said that tackling deforestation could significantly reduce global greenhouse emissions.

“Deforestation in developing countries currently accounts for about 20 per cent of global greenhouse emissions,” Senator Campbell said.

“But there are currently no mechanisms within the United Nations Climate Change Convention that give developing countries incentives to reduce deforestation.

“Australia will host a United Nations conference early next year to help develop these missing mechanisms in a way that respects the needs of developing countries. It will build on an agreement reached at Montreal last year and the good work started in Rome earlier this year.”

Senator Campbell also said it was imperative the world worked together on climate change.

“There’s been a lot of commentary about the positions of the developed countries versus developing countries,” he said. “But we all live in the same world and everyone in that world faces the massive environmental and economic threat of climate change.

“If we’re going to respond effectively to this threat, we have to work together to take real actions. Deforestation is one area where we can work together, with a potentially massive payoff.

“Australia has invested more than $2 billion to reduce our own greenhouse emissions, while also working hard internationally to develop a truly effective global response that involves all major emitters.

“We are playing a important role in the United Nations Climate Change Convention, we are accelerating the development and deployment of low emission technologies through the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, and we are taking practical actions through our range of bilateral partnerships.

“We are also supporting developing countries to reduce their greenhouse emissions in accordance with their national circumstances and economic aspirations.”

Media contact:
Rob Broadfield on 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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