Memorandum from The Ministry of Defence
Q1. What input has your department had to the
UK preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development?
The Committee is aware that each
department is represented on the MISC 18 Ministerial Group on
the World Summit on Sustainable Development chaired by the Deputy
Prime Minister. Please outline how your department co-ordinates
its input to this Committee.
Is MISC 18 the key route by which
your department is contributing to the UK preparations for the
Please outline how are far other
involvement in the preparations (additional to attendance at MISC
18) came about. For example, was it by request from another department,
instigated by your department, and/or part of your department's
Please give details of any papers/strategies/other
work that your department has prepared to support your contribution
to MISC 18 and the UK preparations in general. Has the department
carried out or contributed to any special reviews of progress
connected to the Johannesburg summit? Have thee been discussed
at management board level in your department?
Has the department actively publicised
the preparations for the World Summit and its own involvement?
A1. Neither the Secretary of State for Defence
nor any other Ministry of Defence Minister is a member of MISC
18. However, at official level, the Ministry of Defence has been
represented on the WSSD Inter-Departmental Group, which acts as
a forum to express views on, and receive feedback about, events
and preparations for WSSD. The Group comprises officials representing
all Government departments, the devolved administrations and relevant
agencies. To date, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural
Affairs (DEFRA) has led in reporting to MISC 18 on behalf of the
Group, and officials from other departments, including the Ministry
of Defence, have only been consulted on the Government's communication
strategy for WSSD, which together with their memorandum DEFRA
will be submitting to the Committee. As preparations for the summit
develop, it is likely that all Government departments, including
the Ministry of Defence, will make a greater contribution to the
WSSD Inter-Departmental Group. Membership of this Group will be
the only route by which the Ministry of Defence will be contributing
to preparations for WSSD.
The Ministry of Defence is planning a seminar
for senior managers on the subject of sustainable development.
The aim of the seminar, which will take place in May 2002, is
to communicate to departmental senior managers the importance
and implications of the Government's sustainable development agenda.
Senior managers will be encouraged to disseminate this message
cross their own areas of responsibility and throughout the department.
The seminar will include presentations from:
the Ministry of Defence's 2nd Permanent
Under Secretary (2nd PUS) on the new role for the department's
Green Minister in monitoring progress towards sustainable development
within the Ministry of Defence;
an official of DEFRA's Sustainable
Development Unit on sustainable development across Government;
the Chairman of the Sustainable Development
Commission on the Commission's role; and
the Ministry of Defence's Chief Environment
and Safety Officer on the work the department is undertaking to
develop and implement a departmental sustainable development strategy
based on the Government model.
This seminar will also serve as the key means
by which the Ministry of Defence will publicise to senior managers
the WSSD and the UK Government's preparations for the summit.
In more general terms, detailed information
on sustainable development has been published in the department's
Environmental Manual, Joint Services Publication (JSP) 418, a
copy of which is in the Library of the House of Commons. In addition,
sustainable development is addressed within a suite of environmental
courses run by the Royal Air Force and which are open to all Service
personnel and civilian staff in the department. Consideration
is also being given to the introduction of a separate specific
training module on sustainable development.
Q2. Please set out which UK sustainable development
indicators your department has lead responsibility for, and which
other indicators the department's policies particularly impact
A2. Work on a Ministry of Defence sustainable
development strategy, based on the Government's strategy, is being
taken forward within the Department. The strategy will apply to,
and be implemented across, all areas of the Ministry of Defence,
The development of the departmental strategy
includes ongoing work to identify those national indicators, which
are particularly relevant to the Department's polices and operations.
In addition, the strategy will seek to go beyond the national
indicators by identifying a number of MoD-specific indicators
in the environmental, social and economic spheres.
Q3. What systems does your department have in
place to monitor progress on how far the department's policies
are contributing to UK progress on sustainable development and
the issues that were mapped out in Agenda 21 after the Rio Earth
Summit in 1992?
A3. The Ministry of Defence's sustainable development
strategy will be used to co-ordinate and monitor the adequacy
of our contribution to the environmental, social and economic
indicators of sustainable development. The Department will report
annually on progress towards sustainable development in the Defence
Environment and Safety Report, copies of which will be made available
to members of the Environmental Audit Committee.
The principles and aims of sustainable development
were also incorporated into the documentation supporting MOD's
contribution to Spending Review (SR) 2000. In come cases, environmental
issues led to detailed measures being proposed for new funding
in the Spending Review. Sustainable development commitments will
be included in the Ministry of Defence's Public Service Agreements
(PSAs) or Service Delivery Agreements (SDAs) supporting future
Spending Review agreements. Work has already begun on addressing
the incorporation of sustainable development into the bids for
SR 2002, with all bids being subjected to an integrated sustainable
In common with most other countries participating
in WSSD, it is not the UK Government's intention to produce a
detailed assessment of progress in relation to Agenda 21. Progress
since the Rio Earth Summit will be reviewed at the 10th annual
United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNSCD) meeting
in New York in the Spring.