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Joint Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
4 September 2002
Johannesburg: At the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Australia’s Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today announced an initial contribution of $1 million to the Water and Coastal Resource Management Partnership with the World Bank.
Australia is joining forces with the World Bank in order to address water and coastal resource management issues, from source to sea, in the Asia Pacific and Africa.
“Access to safe drinking water is rightly one of the Millennium Development Goals and together with the appropriate use of water for sustainable agriculture, is a critical factor in alleviating poverty,” Dr Kemp said.
“This partnership will enable the World Bank, the world’s largest and most influential development institution, to draw upon Australia’s leading-edge expertise in areas such as river basin and catchment management through to dryland agriculture for the benefit of the poor in the Asia Pacific and Africa.”
The World Bank’s Vice President for Sustainable Development, Ian Johnson, warmly welcomed the new partnership which builds upon a long history of collaboration between Australia and the Washington based international development institution.
“Water is literally a matter of life and death and it is the poor who do not have access to water,” Mr Johnson said. “Australia is among world leaders on community driven, scientifically based management of water and coastal resources.
“We already have excellent links with Australian organisations such as the Murray Darling Basin Commission, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australia Institute of Marine Science as well as many private sector groups. This partnership will allow the Bank to expand these linkages.” Mr Johnson added.
The partnership builds upon support provided through Australia’s aid program on water and sanitation related activities that is expected to reach $80 million this financial year and extend to over 30 countries.
Dr Peter Poggioli Dr Kemp’s office, Johannesburg +61412 970 063
Sergio Jellinek World Bank, Johannesburg 082-858-8578
Devena Wahlstrom Dr Kemp’s office, Canberra (02) 6277 7640 or 0412 257 334