Previous Section Index Home Page

19 Jan 2006 : Column 1466W—continued

Hill Farm Allowances

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will extend the current hill farm allowance scheme for a further 12 months. [41919]

Jim Knight [holding answer 16 January 2006]: In autumn 2004 DEFRA officials began reviewing how best to protect the upland landscape from 2007. Decisions on rural funding for the next programme period (2007–13) will be taken following consultation in early 2006.

Kyoto Protocol

Mr. Forth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by how much carbon dioxide emissions have changed in each of the EU member states which were signatories to the Kyoto protocol since 1990. [41413]

Mr. Morley: The table shows carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions in million tonnes of CO 2 (MtCO 2 ) for the 25 EU member states which are all signatories to the Kyoto Protocol and the percentage change in CO 2 emissions between 1990 to 2003. The emissions figures are those reported by parties in 2005 to the United Nations framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which is the parent treaty for the Kyoto Protocol. Cyprus and Malta are non-Annex I Parties to the Convention, and as such are not required to submit emissions inventories annually.

These figures include emissions and removals from land-use, land-use change and forestry which provides the most complete coverage of carbon dioxide. The figures are not an indicator of progress with commitments under the Kyoto Protocol because the latter take account of emissions of methane, nitrous oxide and the fluorinated gases as well as carbon dioxide, and include only some activities in the land-use, land use change and forestry sector.
CO 2 emissions (MtCO 2 )
Country19902003Percentage change 1990 to 2003
Czech Republic161.86123.28-23.8
Slovak Republic57.0438.22-33.0
United Kingdom591.42555.93-6.0

n/a=not available.

19 Jan 2006 : Column 1467W

Leisure Boating

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what actions the Government have taken to help promote leisure boating on Britain's canals. [42808]

Jim Knight: The Department provides financial support for the three major navigation authorities to enable them to maintain their waterways in a suitable condition for recreational use such as boating. The Government's policy document on the inland waterways, Waterways for Tomorrow" makes it clear that the Government wants to encourage people to use the waterways for leisure and that it will encourage their use for this purpose.

Media Monitoring

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much the Department and its predecessors spent on media monitoring activities in each of the last eight financial years. [35629]

Jim Knight: The Department's Press Office spent the following on media monitoring:
Media monitoring costs DEFRA Press Office

Financial yearTotal (£)
April to November 2005–06 (YTD )312,498

These figures include the Department's subscription to the Cabinet Office's Media Monitoring Unit and the cost of DEFRA's press cuttings service.

DEFRA was created following the General Election in June 2001, retrospective information before this date of the detail requested, incurred by the merged
19 Jan 2006 : Column 1468W
government bodies brought together to create DEFRA, could not be made available without incurring a disproportionate cost.

Official Overseas Visits

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list all official overseas visits undertaken by officials in her Department, broken down by directorate, in each year since May 2001; what the cost in cash and real terms was; how many official engagements and meetings were undertaken on each visit; how many officials took part in each visit, broken down by grades; and if she will make a statement. [34750]

Jim Knight: The costs (cash) incurred in relation to overseas travel is as follows:
Financial yearCosts incurred (£)

Unfortunately we are unable to provide the additional information requested as this information is not maintained centrally nor is it collated within business areas of DEFRA and it would not be economically viable to attempt to collate it.

Pheasant Shooting

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many complaints her Department has received in the last 12 months on the effects on (a) residential amenities and (b) the environment of the rearing and release of pheasants for shooting. [44215]

Jim Knight: We have not received any complaints on these issues.

Rural Development Funding

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the likely impact on UK environmental schemes of the recent reduction in pillar II rural development funding. [41864]

Jim Knight: Programmes within pillar II of the CAP are designed, in part, to encourage farmers to adopt environmentally beneficial land management practices, and progress is being made. The UK's position is that such targeted programmes need to be continued, and perhaps strengthened with reform. The overall budget for the Rural Development Regulation was agreed as part of the financial perspective (2007–13) negotiations and has been set at €69.75 billion for the whole EU. This is in line with existing expenditure, although the precise allocation of funding is still to be proposed by the Commission. We will continue to argue that this should be based on the need for rural development and not on historical expenditure.
19 Jan 2006 : Column 1469W

In addition, as part of the 2003 reforms it was agreed to move some funds from pillar I to pillar II, a process called 'compulsory modulation'. This will increase pillar II funding from the original budget allocation by around €1 billion a year by 2008.

The UK has also chosen to undertake significant voluntary modulation from pillar I to ensure that sufficient funds are available for domestic rural development. It is possible to transfer up to 20 per cent. of pillar I funds in this way to agreements made after 2006. It is vital to the UK and in England will fund our new Environmental Stewardship Scheme. However, Ministers are still to decide what level may be needed and on the likely size of the new rural development programme to operate from 1 January 2007. In England, we are currently planning to launch a public consultation concerning the content of the new England Rural Development Programme for 2007–13 in February 2006.


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will meet (a) Professor Stephen Harris and (b) Les Stocker MBE to discuss the findings of her Department's working group on snares. [42001]

Jim Knight: I have asked my officials to contact Professor Harris and Les Stocker to discuss the working group's report.

Next Section Index Home Page