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Tuesday, 16 November 2004
Page: 128


Senator Brown asked the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, upon notice, on 17 August 2004:

With reference to orangutans that are found only in Indonesia and Malaysia which, at the current rate of habitat loss, are facing extinction in the wild in the next 10 years: Has the Government supported the United Nations Great Ape Survival Project (www.grasp.org.au); if not, does it intend to.


Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

The Australian Government has not provided direct financial assistance to the United Nations Great Ape Survival Project but currently funds a number of initiatives that support great ape conservation. These include:

strongly supporting and strictly enforcing the import and export requirements of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which affords great apes its highest level of protection;

contributing resources and expertise via Australian zoos and facilitating exchange of great apes for conservation breeding programs; and

through the Regional Natural Heritage Program, providing $10 million in grants over three years to protect biodiversity in hotspot areas of South-East Asia and the Pacific, including projects that specifically target conservation outcomes for great apes, for example, supporting the orang-utan rehabilitation program in Indonesia.