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Conservation Projects

Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment she has made of the impact of conservation projects funded or partly funded by her Department on indigenous local peoples living within the area of the projects. [105289]

Clare Short [holding answer 24 January 2000]: In my reply to the hon. Member of 12 January 2000, Official Report, column 183W, I mentioned the major global evaluation study commissioned by DFID of British bilateral and joint-funded project support for environmental improvement and protection, and made specific reference to projects in Kenya and Tanzania.

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The study also assessed DFID-funded projects for environmental protection and management in India, China and Brazil, including their impact on local people. The study reviewed 19 projects in India and found that all except two will have positive environmental impacts. Social impact has been varied. While many achieved environmental improvements benefiting local people, negative social impacts associated with resettlement and environmental health were noted in two projects.

In China, 16 projects were reviewed. It has been difficult to address social issues and identify social impacts in these projects given the reluctance of the Chinese authorities to support inputs which could be confused with political interference. Local people have benefited from the environmental improvements achieved by several of the projects but involuntary resettlement posed 'a potentially serious problem' in at least one project.

In Brazil, the key focus has been on environmental protection in Amazonia. All projects reviewed were found to have been at least moderately effective, with objectives complete or largely achieved in three projects out of the sample of six. Three of the projects were environmental research projects and two aimed to strengthen scientific capacity. As a result, immediate social impacts, positive or negative, were limited.

Biosafety Protocol

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on her Department's contribution to the formulation of the negotiating position adopted by the United Kingdom and the EU at the Biosafety Protocol talks taking place in Montreal. [106961]

Clare Short: My Department has played an active role in developing the position adopted by the UK and the EU throughout the negotiations of the Biosafety Protocol to ensure that it takes account of developing country concerns. One of the main benefits of the Protocol for developing countries would be to provide channels for financial and technical assistance to help them build capacity for the safe use and development of genetically modified organisms.


Drug Dealers (Bank Accounts)

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proposals she has put forward to the Treasury, the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to deal with the problem of anonymous numbered bank accounts held by drug dealers in (a) Great Cayman, (b) the Virgin Islands, (c) the Bahamas, (d) Bermuda, (e) Luxembourg, (f) Switzerland, (g) Belize and (h) the City of London. [106581]

Mr. Ian McCartney: The Government actively support international initiatives to improve anti-money laundering standards worldwide, including measures to prevent the laundering of the proceeds of drug trafficking. In particular,

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we support and contribute to the work of the Financial Action Task Force on money laundering, the leading international body responsible for setting and enforcing effective international standards. The prohibition of anonymous accounts is an important element of these standards.

UK financial institutions are required by the Money Laundering Regulations 1993 to establish the identity of their customers and, under the Financial Services and Markets Bill, the Government are significantly enhancing the UK's efforts to enforce anti-money laundering standards.

Magistrates (Appointments)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps she is taking to transfer responsibility for the appointment of magistrates in the County Palatine to the Lord Chancellor. [104957]

Marjorie Mowlam: As my hon. Friend knows, I am consulting widely within the Duchy on a proposal that these responsibilities should transfer to the Lord Chancellor. The final decision, as with all such machinery of government matters, will be for the Prime Minister.


Digital Television

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans he has for a public information campaign to advise consumers about the choices available in the digital television market. [106353]

Mr. Chris Smith [holding answer 24 January 2000]: The Government's objectives are to encourage the take-up of digital services by ensuring that consumers have clear and objective information about the benefits of digital television, the choice between free-to-air and pay services, the availability of various packages and platforms and the equipment needed to receive digital services. The Government also want to reassure consumers about the timetable and process for digital switch-over. With these objectives in mind, I had an initial meeting with leading figures in the broadcasting industry last November to discuss a prospective public information campaign. My officials are currently taking this process forward with the aim of launching an industry-wide campaign in the next few months.

Wembley Stadium

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if all seats in the stadium at Wembley as proposed by Wembley Stadium Ltd. under the athletics mode accommodating 80,000 people meet the C60 minimum sightlines specification of the Green Guide and the Football Stadiums Advisory Design Council. [104330]

Kate Hoey [holding answer 10 January 2000]: Based on the ideal focal point at ground level on the outside edge of the running track, the independent report submitted by DLA Ellerbe Beckett confirms that the proposals put forward by Wembley National Stadium Ltd. to provide

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80,000 seats in athletics mode, would reduce the C value of the first eight rows of seating in the lower bowl, and some seats at the end of the stadium, to below C60.

Farmers (Tourism)

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what advice and assistance his Department offers to farmers who wish to diversify into the tourism business. [104920]

Janet Anderson: At a national level, as well as working closely with those with an interest in farm diversification, in particular, MAFF and the Countryside Agency, Tomorrow's Tourism highlights the need to maintain the economic viability of rural businesses through diversification such as farm tourism. Regional Tourist Boards, funded in part by the English Tourism Council (ETC), have primary responsibility for encouraging farm tourism by giving advice, support and guidance to new and existing tourism businesses, as well as those wishing to enter the sector. The Department's officials working in the Government Offices for the Regions also provide advice and support where appropriate. The ETC is currently considering a number of bids for funding from Regional Tourist Boards, including proposals to promote farm tourism more effectively. We will ensure this work is closely co-ordinated with the existing new proposals for farm diversification announced by right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at the end of 1999.

Tourism Industry

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much per head of population was spent on the promotion of tourism in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) the UK in the last year for which figures are available. [105051]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 17 January 2000]: In 1999-2000, the National Tourist Boards are receiving grant-in-aid as follows:

BoardGrant-in-aid (£ million)Population (million)Grant-in-aid per head of population (£)
ETB (now ETC)11.849.590.24


The population figures used to calculate the BTA's grant-in-aid per head exclude Northern Ireland

In addition, the industry is this year contributing over £16 million to the BTA's work. But support for tourism is not limited to Government support for tourist boards. This year DCMS will spend around £1 billion on the arts, museums, galleries and sport, much of which directly benefits tourism. Moreover, in 1998-99, the latest available figures suggest that English local authorities spend some £75 million and Welsh local authorities nearly £5 million on tourism promotion, while Scottish local authorities provided £7.4 million in grants to area tourist boards.

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