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Helping hotspots in Asia and the Pacific.



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STER Endangered Species

Media Release: Department of the Environment & Heritage Tuesday, 29 Jun 2004 at 12:03pm; Category: Other; Low priority; Story No. 3261. Media Release: Department of the Environment & Heritage Media Release Department of the Enviro This is a media release - distributed by AAP MediaNet. Helping Hotspots in Asia and the Pacific Minister Announces Funding for Projects to Help Save Endangered Species in our Region The habitats of some of the world's most threatened species, including the Sumatran Tiger and Vietnam's Black Crested Gibbon, will be conserved thanks to Australian Government funded projects announced today. The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, said the projects, funded under the three-year, $10 million Regional Natural Heritage Programme (RNHP), would help conserve threatened areas of high biological diversity-'biodiversity hotspots' - upon which so many threatened species depend for their survival. The announcement follows the launch of the programme by the Prime Minister, John Howard in conjunction with Senator Meg Lees earlier this year. Projects that will be funded include: Mondulkiri Elephant Conservation (Cambodia); conservation of Eastern Black Crested Gibbon and Snub-nosed Monkey (Vietnam); environmental education training and community awareness programme for Tam Dao National Park (Vietnam), community conservation of the Gau Highlands and the critically endangered Fiji Petrel in Gau Island (Fiji); delivering conservation and policy development for the Sulu Sulawesi Seas (Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines); conservation of Coral Reef Hotspots in the Bismarck Sea (Papua New Guinea); and enhancement of biodiversity conservation in Indonesia. Recent studies by Conservation International revealed that the remaining natural habitat in these biodiversity 'hotspots' represents only 1.4 per cent of the land surface of the planet, but supports almost 44 per cent of the world's higher plant species and 35 per cent of all terrestrial vertebrate species. "In partnership with our regional neighbours, non-government and community-based organisations and the private sector, the Australian Government will help tackle these great environmental challenges. International organizations such as the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, WWF, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society and BirdLife International will assist with implementation of these regional conservation projects. For more information about the biodiversity 'hotspots' programme, visit the Department of the Environment and Heritage web site at http://www.deh.gov.au/heritage, or contact the Community Information Unit on 1800 803 772. Media Contact: Nicky Deitz 0439 438 500 Further information on these regional programmes is available at http://www.deh.gov.au/minister/env/2004/mr29jun04.html SOURCE: Department of the Environment & Heritage

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