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NAIROBI, 1 June 2000 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced today that the Australian Trust of Conservation Volunteers of Australia (ATCV), has been elected to the prestigious ranks of its Global 500 Roll of Honour for outstanding contributions to the protection of the environment. ATCV is one of 14 individuals and organizations to receive this honour in 2000.
Founded in 1982, ATCV is a national, not-for-profit community organization, whose mission is to attract and manage a force of volunteers in practical conservation projects for the betterment of the Australian environment. ATCV completes more than 4000 week-long conservation projects in urban, regional and remote areas of Australia each year.
Activities range from bush regeneration, tree planting, seed collection, endangered species protection, weed control, flora and fauna surveys, walking trail construction, fencing, environmental monitoring and the protection of world heritage areas. ATCV community participation has resulted in more than 1.8 million trees being planted in 1999, and in more than 7.3 million trees planted over the past 10 years.
Community involvement totalled 200,000 project days in 1999 and more than 700,000 days since 1989. To encourage the involvement of young people, ATCV developed and manages the federal government-funded programme Green Corps. Green Corps is a six-month traineeship for 17 to 20 year-olds, which incorporates conservation projects and accredited training. Since 1997, more than 4,000 trainees have completed the Green Corps programme. ATCV is a founding member of the International Conservation Alliance, which brings together organizations working in conservation volunteering, and is a member of the World Conservation Union (IUCN).
The award will be presented in Adelaide, Australia, at the World Environment Day ceremonies on 4 June 2000. World Environment Day, which is celebrated in some 120 countries around the world on 5 June, was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to focus global attention and action on environmental issues.
Some 701 individuals and organizations, in both the adult and youth categories, have been honoured since UNEP launched the Global 500 award in 1987. Among prominent past winners are: French Marine explorer Jacques Cousteau; Sir David Attenborough, producer of environmental television programmes; Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway; Anil Aggarwal, the prominent environmentalist from India; Ken Saro-Wiwa, the environmental and human rights activist from Nigeria who was executed for leading the resistance of the Ogoni People against the pollution of their Delta homeland; the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States; Jane Goodall of the United Kingdom whose research on wild chimpanzees and olive baboons provided insight into the lives of non-human primates; and the late Chico Mendes, the Brazilian rubber tapper who was murdered during his fight to save the Amazon forest.
To forge global links and to implement ideas, which can contribute to a more sustainable future, a network of all Global 500 laureates has been formed. Information about this unique network can be obtained at http://www.global500.org.


The winners of UNEP's Global 500 Roll of Honour are members of a broad and growing environmental movement that is flourishing around the world. They have taken the path that most of us hesitate to take for want of time or caring," says UNEP's Executive Director, Klaus Toepfer. "In honouring the Global 500 laureates, UNEP hopes that others will be inspired by their extraordinary deeds."

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