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Publications archive - International Activities and Commitments

Disclaimer

Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Australia's report to the UNCSD - 1995

Implementation of Agenda 21
Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, 1995
ISBN 0 6444 3152 0

Industry

Chapter 30 of Agenda 21

The Australian Government recognises the central role played by business and industry in the economy and in efforts to move towards a more ecologically sustainable pattern of development. The Government has therefore involved industry closely in the development of strategies and initiatives at promoting ecologically sustainable development. This had included the development of the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development and the National Greenhouse Response Strategy.

Industry and business involvement has been through major industry associations including the Business Council of Australia, the National Farmers Federation, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Chamber of Manufactures and the EMIAA, Environment Management Industry Association of Australia. In addition, individual enterprises have been involved in discussions on environmental issues of particular relevance to the activities of those firms.

The Government is developing a National Environment Industries Database to enable national and inter-national industry to access environment management data. The Database will include a Cleaner Production information segment.

The Government also welcomes the presence of business and industry representatives on delegations attending international meetings on environmental issues, including meetings of the Commission on Sustainable Development and meetings to discuss international environmental agreements and conventions such as the Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Desertification Convention and the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes.

The Government has also provided assistance to industry to promote the adoption of environmentally sound practices. This occurs through programs such as the Cleaner Production Demonstration Program, the Eco- Redesign Program and the AusIndustry National Industry Extension Service (NIES) Environment Management Program.

In addition, the Government has a range of programs in place to support innovation activities undertaken by industry. These programs have provided assistance to enterprises undertaking research and development into environmentally sound processes and products. The government has also provided funding to support the establishment of Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) that bring together industry and government research groups. There are 61 CRCs. Industry contributes about 20% of the resources for CRCs. Many of these Centres undertake research into specific environmental issues and the development of environmentally sound technologies where industry has committed support. An environmental Project Development and Technology Diffusion Network has also been launched as part of Government industry policy.

The Government also supports the efforts of industry to develop international linkages for the development and transfer of environmentally sound technology. Although Australia's entire international development cooperation program has the objective of encouraging ecologically sustainable development, some components of the program are targeted specifically at encouraging the diffusion of environmental technology. For example, the Green Development Import Finance Facility, worth around A$20 million in 1994-95, assists Australian business to transfer environmentally friendly technology and to finance important environmental infrastructure, including projects to improve water and sanitation and help confront problems arising from rapid industrialisation in the region. The Private Sector Linkages Program (PSLP), which links Australian enterprises with equivalent enterprises in selected developing countries, also helps to fund the demonstration, adaptation and supply of Australian environmental technology. Since its inception in 1992-93, the PSLP has provided support valued at over A$1 million for eight environment-related activities.

Recognising the role of industry and business in ESD, the Australian aid program also provides a wide spectrum of support for the development of a vibrant private sector in developing countries. The Australian program's mix of policies, such as training programs and infrastructure improvement, and newer initiatives, including support for micro-enterprise development and assistance to adjust to the post-Uruguay Round trading environment, provide a strong basis for encouraging private sector growth. But the effectiveness of these projects is critically dependent on the recipient country's ability to establish a sound enabling environment which is supportive of the private sector and capable of attracting direct foreign investment.

The Australian Environment Management Export Corporation Ltd (AUSTEMEX), a joint initiative of the Environment Management Industry Association of Australia and Austrade (the Australian Government's export assistance agency) has assisted close to 50 Australian organisations export environmental goods and services overseas, particularly into the Asia-Pacific region. This collaborative public-private sector venture is a major technology transfer initiative.

For further information contact:

Department of Industry, Science and Technology