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Senator Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment
25 March 1996
A major international conference on biodiversity conservation will be opened in Cairns today by Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill.
More than 80 participants will attend the OECD Conference on Incentive Measures for Biodiversity Conservation to be held over the next 3 days.
The conference will examine a variety of approaches to give practical guidance to OECD countries in their implementation the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Senator Hill says the conference will also contribute to the international discussion on incentive measures for Biodiversity Conservation.
"Australia is uniquely placed to achieve a benchmark in biodiversity conservation and ecologically sustainable development.
"In fact, Australia is one of only 12 countries classified as 'megadiverse' which together contain 60-70% of the world's biodiversity."
A major goal of the conference will be to take stock of the work of the OECD Ad Hoc Expert Group on Economic Aspects of Biodiversity.
Senator Hill will also launch a publication on the use of economic instruments to encourage biodiversity conservation.
The publication is the result of a cooperative effort between the CSIRO, the ANU's Australian Centre tor Environmental Law, and Community Solution.
It canvasses a range of options to encourage off-reserve conservation of biodiversity. These include motivational, voluntary, price-based, property-right and regulatory mechanisms.
The publication also provides a theoretical foundation upon which to base the optimum mix of incentive measures to maximise biodiversity conservation and ecologically sustainable use in any particular situation.
The report's principal author, Dr Mike Young, will be giving a presentation on the report during the conference.
For conference information contact Phillip Gleeson, 06 274 1595.
For further comment from Senator Hill contact Matt Brown on 015 396 773