• Short Summary

    An unprecedented campaign to conserve the world's natural resources was today (please note embargo) launched by leaders in more than thirty countries on five continents.

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    Belgium Spain Italy

    Canada Tunisia Norway

    The Carribean West & East Germany France

    Denmark Kenya Sweden

    Finland Switzerland United Kingdom

    India China Japan

    Jordan Indonesia Thailand

    Soviet Union Hong Kong

    GV Lake near Melbourne Australia PAN TO dead fish in river (3 shots)

    GV PAN Flooded area of Andhra Pradesh, India

    GV AERIAL PAN Bushland near Mount Kenya, GV Rhinoceros in bush (3 shots)

    GV AERIAL Amazon jungle in Brazil, GV AND SV Bulldozers felling trees and building highway in Amazon jungle (8 shots)

    GV EXTERIOR Buckingham Palace, London

    SV INTERIOR Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh speaking to camera

    PRINCE PHILIP: "The World Conservation Strategy is the outcome of two years' work by people with long practical experience and intimate knowledge of the problems of conservation in over a hundred countries. The Strategy sets out very clearly what needs to be done and what experience has shown to be the best way of doing it. It is particularly relevant to government administrators, officials of international agencies and members of voluntary organisations and provides them with a clear statement of the priorities and of their responsibilities in the conservation of the natural environment and every one of them must read it. the Strategy is being launched simultaneously in more than thirty countries is five of the world's continents. Heads of state and government of all political systems and persuasions and at every level of economic development have joined together in this unique event. This is a wonderful and encouraging beginning, but it needs even more support and a whole-hearted commitment if the Strategy is to achieve the hopes and ambitions of all those who share an active concern for the future of this planet."

    Among the expected participants at the concurrent news conference to launch World Conservation Strategy were: King Juan Carlos of Spain, Crown Prince Harald of Norway, President Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya, President Suharto of Indonesia, Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser of Australia, prime Minister Francisco Sa Carneiro of Portugal, Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez of Spain; Alessandro Orfila, Secretary General of the Organisation of American States; explorer and author, Thor Heyerdahl, and naturalist, Sir Peter Scott; and Vice President of the World Wildlife Fund, Maurice Strong.

    Initials dn/

    EDITORS' NOTE: This material is strictly embargoed. Please follow the instructions below:

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: An unprecedented campaign to conserve the world's natural resources was today (please note embargo) launched by leaders in more than thirty countries on five continents. Called "World Conservation Strategy", it is the climax of three years' of intensive effort involving governments of all political persuasions and seven hundred scientists and experts from more than a hundred countries. At news conferences to launch World Conservation Strategy, heads of state and government, as well as environmentalists, warned that the world's natural resources are limited and -- in many cases -- shrinking rapidly. The Strategy was prepared by the International Union for Conservation of Natural Resources, under the joint sponsorship of the United nations Environment Programme and the World wildlife Fund.

    SYNOPSIS: The Strategy provides guidelines for overcoming problems such as soil erosion, misuse of croplands, deforestation, desert encroachment, and depletion of fisheries. Every year, thousands of millions of tons of soil are lost as a result of deforestation and poor land management.

    In India, damage caused by flooding is estimated to cost between 140 to 750 million (U.S.) dollars annually.

    The Strategy also recommends urgent action to prevent certain animal species becoming extinct. The rhinoceros, for instance, could disappear by 1990 -- after its existence on earth for 35-million years. Poachers, who sell the rhino's horn for large sums, are largely to blame.

    In South America, one tenth of the Amazon forest has been cut down. Environmentalists say that if the destruction of the Amazon continues the world's climate could be drastically altered because of the subsequent injection of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. Already, signs of climatic change have been recorded in Brazil.

    In Britain, Prince Philip, the Duke on Edinburgh, has urged leaders to give World Conservation Strategy their full support.

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