|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) under what timetable habitat action plans will be produced to instigate the recovery of habitats on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority list; 
Joan Ruddock: I announced a new UK list of priority species and habitats on 28 August 2007. Action plans for many of these, such as the otter and lowland heathland, have already been in place for a number of years which has resulted in significant recovery.
The development of action plans for new priority habitats is a devolved matter and each country will carry this out to their own timetable. However, recent discussions between the countries indicate that Habitat Groups and lead partners will be appointed during 2008, with the preparation of objectives/targets by early 2009 and the completion of habitat management guidance (to take account of relevant species needs) by the end of April 2009. Implementation of the existing priority habitat action plans will continue in parallel with this process.
Baseline information on the status of the priority species and habitats was taken from experts to show the degree of threat and rate of decline in habitats and species in the UK to substantiate the listing. Good information was available for some, but for others, it was more limited. Information gaps will be addressed through a UK surveillance strategy being developed by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Experts also provided information on the importance of the species and habitats from an international perspective.
The next reporting round under the Biodiversity Action Plan will take place in late 2008 and will assess progress on the original list of priority species and habitats. Subsequent rounds will report progress on the new list and we will need to consider with the devolved administrations how UK progress is to be assessed in the light of deliberations currently being undertaken at the country level.
Not all species will need discrete plans as the UK Biodiversity Partnership is adopting the ecosystem approach which focuses on causes rather than symptoms. There is no specified timetable for the completion of the action plans but experts across the UK Biodiversity Partnership are already being consulted on which species would require individual management action and which would benefit from collective action. Natural England, as lead delivery body in England, will then prioritise the species found in England and identify lead partners where appropriate. Similar arrangements are being put in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with joint working between countries where this will assist in securing conservation benefits.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many of the species on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority list occur in England; and how many of these were listed due to severe decline. 
Joan Ruddock: 57 habitats of the 65 on the UK list of priority species and habitats occur in England. They comprise woodlands, lowland agricultural habitats, heathlands, wetlands, upland habitats, coasts and seas. For the first time, recognition has been given to the critical role of several habitats new to the listing, including traditional orchards and ponds. A full list of the habitats in England follows:
BAP Habitats in England
Aquifer fed naturally fluctuating water bodies
Arable field margins
Blue mussel beds
Coastal and floodplain grazing marsh
Coastal sand dunes
Coastal vegetated shingle
Estuarine rocky habitats
Eutrophic standing waters
Fragile sponge and anthozoan communities on subtidal rocky habitats
Horse mussel beds
Inland rock outcrop and scree habitats
Intertidal boulder communities
Lowland beech and yew woodland
Lowland calcareous grassland
Lowland dry acid grassland
Lowland mixed deciduous woodland
Lowland raised bog
Maritime cliff and slopes
Mountain heaths and willow scrub
Mud habitats in deep water
Oligotrophic and dystrophic lakes
Open mosaic habitats on previously developed land
Peat and clay exposures
Purple moor grass and rush pastures
Sabellaria alveolate reefs
Sabellaria spinulosa reefs
Sheltered muddy gravels
Subtidal sands and gravels
Upland calcareous grassland
Upland flushes, fens and swamps
Upland hay meadows
Upland mixed ashwoods
Wood-pasture and parkland
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what contribution the UK is making to (a) improving species conservation and (b) tackling non-native invasive species in the Overseas Territories; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: The Governments aim is to work in partnership with the Overseas Territory Governments to assist them in achieving, among other things, the objectives set out in individual Overseas Territories Environment Charters. In doing so the Government provide access to funding to improve species conservation from a variety of sources, for example: the Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP), jointly managed by the FCO and DFID; the Darwin Initiative; the International Sustainable Development Fund (ISDF); the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP); and the Flagship Species Fund, administered by Fauna and Flora International, but supported by DEFRA.
On non-native invasive species, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), the statutory adviser to Government on UK and international nature conservation, has undertaken a review of non-native species in the UK Overseas Territories. This review is being used to guide various projects relating to invasive species in Overseas Territories. In June 2007 JNCC also hosted a workshop on invasive species in the Overseas Territories bringing together a range of stakeholders to share information, and to discuss future collaboration in this area of work.
Elsewhere, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, (a DEFRA sponsored body) has undertaken a number of separate initiatives, including a programme of seed collecting initiated in four Territories (British Virgin Islands, St. Helena, Ascension and Falkland Islands), and DMA banking of the Flora of South Georgia.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what animal welfare and protection provisions apply in the Overseas Territories, with particular reference to nesting marine turtles. 
Jonathan Shaw: Animal welfare and protection provisions are matters for individual Overseas Territory Governments. With regard to marine turtles, in 2001 DEFRA and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) jointly commissioned the Marine Turtle Research Group (MTRG) to undertake a research project on the Status and Exploitation of Marine Turtles in the UK Caribbean Overseas Territories (TCOT). The resultant report, published in 2004, outlines the diversity of legislation relating to the protection, harvest and sale of marine turtles.
In relation to the British Indian Ocean Territory, the UK is a signatory to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Conservation of Marine Turtles in the Indian Ocean and South East Asia (IOSEA). The MoU puts in place a framework through which States of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asian region, as well as other concerned States, can work together to conserve and replenish depleted
marine turtle populations for which they share responsibility. Since 2002 the Government have provided voluntary contributions totalling around £150,000 to fund projects that fall under the MoU.
Joan Ruddock: According to advice from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), the statutory adviser to Government on UK and international nature conservation, there has been one extinction in the last five years in Her Majestys Overseas Territories namely the St. Helena Olive Nesiota elliptica. The last cultivated St. Helena Olive tree, an endemic to the island of the same name, died in 2003 on St. Helena; the last wild individual died in 1994.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his estimate is of the appropriate level for total allowable catch in the North Sea for (a) herring, (b) cod, (c) haddock, (d) whiting, (e) plaice and (f) sole in 2008; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: In the light of the latest scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), in the current EU/Norway negotiations, we are seeking the following changes to the total allowable catches (TAC) in the North sea for 2008:
(a) to limit the cut in herring to 35 per cent.;
(b) a 15 per cent. increase in cod;
(c) to limit the cut in haddock to 15 per cent., in line with the joint management plan;
(d) to limit the cut in whiting to 15 per cent.; and
(e) to set the plaice TAC in line with the joint management plan.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assistance the Government has offered the Falklands government in tackling the decline in the number of rockhopper penguins. 
The UK Government continue to provide assistance, when requested, for example, through the Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP), which is administered jointly by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for International Development (DFID). OTEP has been established to support the Overseas Territories in developing and implementing action plans under their respective Environment Charters. The UK Government have not provided assistance specifically relating to conservation of rockhopper penguins. However, I understand that a bid to OTEP from the Falkland Islands on this issue is
likely to be made in the next round of bidding. If so this will be considered alongside all the other projects received by OTEP.
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the merits of seeking the introduction of tax on plastic bags to encourage the use of recyclable alternatives; and what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this matter. 
Joan Ruddock: The Government have no current plans for a plastic bags tax, although the Chancellor keeps all taxes under review. Any decision on a levy on plastic bags would be for the Treasury to make.
We are interested in reducing the environmental impact of all single-use carrier bags, not just plastic bags. The Waste Strategy for England 2007, launched in May, aims to make single-use carrier bags a thing of the past, and we are actively working on the best ways to achieve this objective.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many poultry are registered on the GB Poultry Register in the avian influenza (a) protection zone, (b) surveillance zone and (c) restricted zone; and how many free range poultry there are in each zone; 
(2) how many holdings are registered on the GB Poultry Register in the avian influenza (a) protection zone, (b) surveillance zone and (c) restricted zone; and how many free range holdings there are in each zone; 
(i) Protection Zone: 5 premises (including the infected premises) with 36,802 birds. One of these premises, the infected premises, was registered as free range and had a total of 6,800 birds.
(ii) Surveillance Zone: an additional 92 premises with 4,085,476 birds. 38 of these premises were registered as free range and had a total of 167,397 birds.
(iii) Restricted Zone: an additional 1,372 premises with 24,987,220 birds. 473 of these premises were registered as free range and had a total of 2,777, 143 birds.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|