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Departmental Waste

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of waste produced in her Department was (a) recycled, (b) composted and (c) re-used, broken down into (i) paper, (ii) plastics, (iii) aluminium cans and (iv) other, in each year since 1997; what plans there are to increase the proportions; and if she will make a statement. [65695]

Clare Short: Figures prior to 2000 are not available, as precise volumes were not being measured. Some measuring systems were initiated in 2000 but were not sufficiently comprehensive to enable proportions to be quoted in the format requested.

In April 2000, recording of paper sent for recycling commenced at our main London office and averaged 300kg/wk in the initial months. This increased by 30 per cent following an office awareness-raising campaign in September 2000. Other recycling streams initiated during 2000 included plastic cups, aluminium cans, glass, newspaper, toner cartridges and used fluorescent tubes. Since December 2001, our main London office has been using a Government-approved waste contractor (John W Hannay) who collect all mixed office waste daily and sort it on receipt into 12 recycling streams. They state that they recycle over 90 per cent and send under ten per cent to landfill. This system also obviates the need for time-consuming sorting and recording of individual waste streams at source. We are currently exploring the possibility of extending this system to our other main office in East Kilbride, and will also be conducting environmental audits of our overseas offices with a view to expanding recycling, composting and re-use where local circumstances permit.

When we relocated to a new London office towards the end of 2001; eight giant walk-in skips were filled with waste paper for recycling. Obsolete computer equipment was sent to the charity Computer Aid for reuse (including in developing countries) and surplus obsolete office furniture was donated to local schools and other charities. For the final office clearance we used a Government-approved company (Azcom, via a call-down contract with the Disposal Sales Agency) who reuse and recycle as much cleared material as possible as an alternative to landfill.

DFID is wholly committed to the Green agenda and targets, and is in the process of finalising an Environmental Management System covering all aspects of operational activities. Improved recording and monitoring procedures will form an integral part of that system when it is up and running.

Sexual and Reproductive Health

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which NGOs her Department has supported to promote sexual and

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reproductive health in developing countries in each of the last five years; and how much money each organisation has received. [66182]

Clare Short: My Department (headquarters and overseas offices) funds many sexual and reproductive health NGOs in the UK, US and across the developing world. Information on this is not held centrally and to collate it would incur disproportionate costs. DFID expenditure through UK NGOs (including sexual and reproductive health NGOs) is listed in Statistics on International Development (table 14). A copy is available in the Library of the House.

Poverty Analysis

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what financial contribution her Department has made as part of its work with the World Bank, the UN Development Programme and the European Commission on a joint analysis of the linkages between environment and poverty. [67490]

Clare Short: My Department has contributed to a joint paper with the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme and the European Commission on the linkages between poverty reduction and environmental management. We made no financial contribution as part of this work and no new research or analysis was commissioned. Publishing and editing costs were covered by the World Bank. Our contribution was in staff time.

UN Taskforce

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff in her Department are working with the United Nations Information and Communications Technologies Task Force. [67004]

Clare Short: The Department is represented on the Task Force by its Director-General, Resources, who calls on appropriate specialist support as necessary.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what financial support her Department is giving in 2002-03 to the United Nations Information and Communications Technologies Task Force. [67003]

Clare Short: The Department devotes human resources to attending and supporting Task Force meetings. No direct financial support is provided.


Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on her recent visit to Tanzania. [68176]

Clare Short: I visited Dodoma on 2–3 July for discussions with President Mkapa and Government Ministers about the UK's development partnership with Tanzania. I was warmly received, and had some open and constructive discussions with the Government of Tanzania about their impressive progress on social and economic reform, as well as about the government's response to the International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) report on the air traffic control

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system. Given that the contract with BAE Systems is legally binding, President Mkapa is inviting ICAO and BAE Systems to visit Tanzania to help advise his government on the best and most effective way of using the system. President Mkapa also made clear that there would be no second phase of the project. The President and Finance Minister outlined measures the government had put in place to ensure proper scrutiny and transparency of contracts to avoid any similar problems in the future. Improved systems and legislation, which DFID has helped to support, are now in place for public expenditure management and procurement.

In view of these assurances and the measures taken by the government of Tanzania, and given the impressive achievements Tanzania has made in economic growth and social reform, I agreed to establish a six year partnership based on mutual commitments to drive forward Tanzania's poverty reduction and economic reform efforts. The Memorandum of Understanding will provide a commitment to at least #45 million per annum of support to the Tanzanian budget, the first year of which will be disbursed between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2003. In the current financial year we expect to spend a total of #80 million through our bilateral development programme.


Pets In Schools

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her policy is on the (a) keeping of pets in schools and (b) development of school farms; how those activities are compatible with her Department's guidelines on health and safety; and if she will make a statement. [67198]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: Keeping pets in schools and encountering farming activities can be useful educational experiences for pupils. The Department has issued guidelines on health and safety in science education, and also endorsed guidance from educational organisations, covering good keeping and handling of living organisms in schools. The Growing Schools initiative, launched last September, and supported by #500,000 funding, includes the development of school grounds for growing, for example, food Xcrops", and may also support farm units which contain animals.



Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what rules apply to the use of animal material in the production of vaccines. [56021]

Ms Blears [holding answer 14 May 2002]: There have been guidelines for the pharmaceutical industry to follow on the use of certain animal materials in the production of vaccines and other medicines since 1989. The latest version of the guidelines was drawn up by the European scientific committee, the committee for proprietary medicinal products (CPMP), and adopted

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in May 2001. The latest version of the guidelines became legally binding from 1 July 2000 for new applications for a licence for a medicinal product and from 1 March 2001 for products that were already licensed.

The scope of guidance at any one time, and its implications for pharmaceutical companies, have often been unclear. Following a thorough review of the information supplied to Parliament on bovine spongiform encephalopathy-related issues in vaccines, the Government have established that, regrettably, incorrect and misleading information was given to Ministers by the medicines control agency and thus has been given in response to a number of Parliamentary Questions. An account of the questions incorrectly answered and the correct information has now been placed in the Library and letters sent to right hon. and hon. Members who asked those questions.

We have also placed in the Library:

For all practical purposes, nothing in the reports that have been published changes the safety profile of any vaccine licensed for use in the UK. In particular, the CSM's review is reassuring in concluding that there are no TSE-related issues arising from the use of animal materials in the manufacture of UK licensed vaccines.

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