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

27 May 2006

$3 million for regional flora and fauna


The Australian Government will soon invest $3 million in projects to help protect areas of high biological diversity, or ‘biodiversity hotspots’, in the South East Asia and the Pacific region.

Announcing the fourth round of funding under the $10 million Regional Natural Heritage Programme (RNHP), the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said Australia was an important player in the global effort to save the world’s most precious species of plants and animals.

“During the past three funding rounds we have invested almost $6.2 million in the region to protect these biodiversity hotspots, which many threatened species depend on for their survival,” Senator Campbell said.

“These areas are dangerously close to destruction and, if we don’t act now, areas of amazing natural diversity will be lost forever.

“Through the RNHP projects, we are helping to conserve the coral reefs of Eastern Indonesia and Vietnam, protect the endangered Scott’s tree kangaroo of Papua New Guinea and Vietnam’s most endangered monkeys as well as save the critically endangered birds, the Samoan Mao Mao and Manumea.”

In partnership with regional neighbours, non-government and community-based organisations and the private sector, the Australian Government is tackling great environmental challenges.

“The 2006-07 funding round will extend this vitally important work in our region and we look forward to supporting our neighbours in their efforts to save their outstanding natural heritage.”

Launched by the Prime Minister on 18 February 2004, the programme provides $10 million over three years to help conserve biodiversity hotspots in Australia’s region.

Nine projects totalling $834,000 were funded under the first round of the programme (in 2003-04). Last June Senator Campbell announced funding totalling $4.35 million for 15 projects under the second round (2004-05). In early April this year Senator Campbell announced $1 million for six more projects under the third funding round (2005-06).

Applications for grants of between $10,000 and $500,000 are now invited from organisations actively involved in biodiversity conservation projects in South East Asia and the Pacific.

Applications for the fourth funding round close on 7 July 2006.

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

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

Commonwealth of Australia