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Alun Michael: In England, legal responsibility for monitoring ambient air quality lies with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. In addition the Environment Agency is responsible for ambient air quality monitoring arrangements in relation to regulated industrial processes in England and Wales. Local authorities are responsible for reviewing and assessing ambient air quality in their areas. This usually includes some monitoring of key pollutants. Defra manages the United Kingdom ambient air quality monitoring network on behalf of the Government and the devolved administrations.
(3) what plans she has to implement higher air quality targets. 
Alun Michael: The Government set out their targets for safeguarding people's health and protecting the environment from air pollution in the Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which was first published in 1997 and revised in January 2000. The strategy includes health-based standards for benzene, 1,3-butadiene, carbon monoxide, lead, particles, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and low level ozone. It also includes policy objectives for each pollutant to be achieved between 2003 and 2008. On 5 August 2002 we announced tighter objectives for particles, benzene and carbon monoxide and introduced a new objective for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Section 20 of the Environment Act 1995 requires the Secretary of State to keep the Air Quality Strategy and its standards, objectives and measures under regular review. The Secretary of State is required to consult with a wide range of interests and organisations on any proposals to modify the strategy. We carried out a comprehensive review of the overall strategy and its objectives between 1997 and 1999. A further review began in 2000, concentrating on strengthening three of the current objectives and adding an objective for a new
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pollutant. We intend that the next review, which is likely to begin during 2003, should focus more on progress towards meeting the objectives, rather than on objectives themselves. Should new evidence emerge, however, which indicates that existing air quality targets should be amended, or new ones introduced, this will be taken into account in future reviews.
Mr. Hurst: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many participants there are in the Countryside Stewardship scheme (a) in England and (b) in each of the English regions. 
|Region||Number of agreements|
Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when her Department will make an announcement on whether the new rights of access under Part 1 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 will be implemented on a regional basis; and if she will make a statement. 
Alun Michael: I am strongly in favour of implementing the new rights of access to open country on a region by region basis but additional costs and organisational issues have to be addressed. Work is currently being undertaken to make sure that early commencement is a practical proposition. Our aim is to make this historic new right a reality as soon as is practicable and I shall announce a decision shortly.
Alun Michael: Information is available only on the number of producers who received slaughter premium scheme payments. These details are set out in the table. Because the scheme in Great Britain was administered by different Government Departments in relation to the over and under thirty-month elements of the scheme, there is an element of double counting. Full details are given in the footnotes.
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(1) UTM = under thirty months. OTM = over thirty months.
(2) The figures quoted here are the number of producers who have received payments.
(3) The 2002 scheme is still open. The figures quoted are the number of producers who have submitted claims for premium so far.
England and Wales
During the 2000 scheme year, the Slaughter Premium Scheme for England and Wales was administered as two separate schemes. The UTM element for England was administered by the then Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), and the OTM and UTM element was administered by the then Intervention Board. In 2001, these elements were combined for producers in England and Wales.
During the 2000 and 2001 scheme years, the OTM element of the scheme was administered by the Intervention Board, and latterly, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD) administered the UTM element. In 2002, SEERAD took over the full responsibility for both elements and combined them to run as one adult scheme.
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) have administered the adult scheme as one element since the 2000 scheme year.
Mr. MacShane: The British Government received a copy of the UN Secretary-General's proposals for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem on 11 November in our capacity as a Guarantor Power of Cyprus. We will be studying these proposals carefully,
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particularly in so far as they affect our responsibilities under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, and will be responding to Kofi Annan in due course.
The Government warmly welcome the UN Secretary-General's decision to table his proposals for bridging the remaining gaps after the months of negotiations between the two sides. We believe this is a timely initiative which we will be giving our full support.
As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said in a press statement on 11 November, the British Government believe that there is now the best chance to solve the Cyprus Problem in decades, and that this opportunity is not likely to recur in the foreseeable future. We will be working with all those concerned for a positive outcome.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further information he has received from the UN in relation to the allegations set out in the UN Panel of Experts report on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the DRC. 
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to introduce targeted sanctions against businesses or individuals profiting from the trade in conflict goods as referred to in paragraph 143 of the final report of the Panel of Experts on the alleged exploitation of natural resources and other kinds of wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
Mr. Rammell: The proposal to introduce targeted sanctions is one of a wide range of recommendations made by the UN expert panel report being considered by Whitehall departments. In consultations at the UN on 13 November, a number of states asked for more information to be made available to substantiate the report's allegations. The UK has also asked the UN directly for more information, but has not yet received a response.
At the 13 November consultations, the UN panel's chairmanAmbassador Kassemrestated that the panel would recommend a grace period of 56 months before imposing any sanctions, to allow the accused individuals and companies a chance to change their working practices.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to follow the recommendations set out in paragraph 176 of the report of the UN Panel of Experts in request of companies and individuals listed in Annex 1 and 11 of the report whose operations are carried out in whole or in part of the UK. 
Mr. Rammell: The recommendations made by the UN Expert Panel report are being considered by Whitehall Departments. At Security Council consultations on 13 November, a number of states asked that more information be made available to substantiate the
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report's allegations. The UK has also asked the UN for more information directly, but has not yet received a response.
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