BHP Billiton officials have announced the launch of their Australian Five Rivers Conservation Project with a pledge for $12 million toward conservation and management of 11,000 hectares of land in Tasmania. Partners for the endeavor are Tasmanian Land Conservancy officials and Conservation International.

The land, near Cradle Mountain and Lake St. Clair, is covered by the Tasmanian World Heritage area. These include forests, rivers, and wetlands native to endangered species like the Tasmanian devil, the Wedge-Tailed Eagle, spotted-tailed quoll, Clarence galaxias and Grassland paper daisy; Tasmania is an island state 150 miles south of the Australian continent.

“Improving management of land, enhancing biodiversity and contributing to enduring benefits is essential to operating in a responsible manner,” said BHP President, HSEC, Marketing and Technology, Mike Henry. Tasmanian Land Conservancy CEO Jane Hutchinson lauded the top miner. “We congratulate BHP and encourage other corporations to follow their lead,” she said.

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