Select Committee on Environmental Audit Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex 1


What input has the National Assembly for Wales as a whole, and your department particularly, had to UK preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)?

  The Welsh Assembly Government seeks to contribute to the Summit primarily through its efforts to put SD into practice in Wales. However, it also plays a part in the UK's preparations specifically for the Summit and is making its own preparations too. The main text of this memorandum refers.

  The Committee is aware that the National Assembly for Wales' Minister for Environment is invited to attend the MISC18 Ministerial Group on how WSSD chaired by the [Deputy] Prime Minister. Please outline how your department (sic) co-ordinates its input to this Committee.

  The Environment Minister is invited to attend the MISC18 Ministerial Group on the Summit. She is in a position to reflect the views of the Welsh Assembly Government's own Cabinet Sub-Committee on Sustainable Development (described in main text), which considered a paper on Wales' preparations for the Summit in January 2002.

Is the department playing a dual role, like DEFRA, in co-ordinating an overall Executive input to the preparations for WSSD as well as contributing from a departmental perspective?

  The Minister attends MISC 18 (when able to do so) in her capacity as Minister leading on sustainable development, not merely from an environmental perspective. She is supported in this by officials from the Assembly's Sustainable Development Unit.

Is MISC18 the key route by which your department (sic) is contributing to the UK preparations for the World Summit?

  It is primarily through MISC 18 (and the supporting official-level steering group that supports it) that the Welsh Assembly Government contributes to discussion of UK preparations at present. We hope that the First Minister will have the opportunity to contribute to the Summit itself as part of the UK's delegation.

Please give details of any papers/strategies/other work that your department (sic) 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 preparations for the Johannesburg summit?

  See main text of this memorandum.

Has the department actively publicised the preparations for the World Summit and its own involvement?

  See main text of this memorandum.

What systems does the Assembly have in place to monitor progress on how far its 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? Has the Assembly developed its own indicators of sustainable development?

  See main text of this memorandum, particularly the section on Reporting. The Assembly has statutory duties to report annually on progress in implementing its own SD Scheme, and four-yearly on the effectiveness thereof. The Assembly has thus far adopted 12 indicators of sustainable development, most of which also appear in the UK indicator set, and has established a working group to make recommendations as to others.

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