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Huw Irranca-Davies: The Forestry Commission aims to increase the proportion of the population in priority areas that have access to woodland within four kilometres of where they live. It has a target for an additional 750,000 people to gain access to woodland over the next three years. It will work to achieve this through the targeting of incentives available through the English Woodland Grant scheme and through partnerships. Increased public access will be provided by the opening of access to existing woodland, the creation of new woodland on agricultural land and the regeneration of derelict and unused land to woodland.
Huw Irranca-Davies: Our forestry policy, A Strategy for England's Trees, Woods and Forests, includes the objective to plant trees and create new woodland in priority places. Under the Rural Development Programme for England 2007-13 we have committed to creating 15,400 hectares of new woodlands with support from the English Woodland Grant scheme administered by the Forestry Commission. In addition there will be a contribution from smaller woodlands planted as part of Environmental Stewardship, the agri-environment grant scheme administered by Natural England.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward proposals that no one should live more than 500 metres from a two hectare wood and four kilometres from a 20 hectare wood. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Forestry Commission is utilising the Woodland Access Standard in its targeting of incentives offered for management of existing woodland and creation of new woodland under the English Woodland Grant Scheme that will increase public access. It also uses this standard to help the monitoring and evaluation of its work.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for which genetically modified varieties of (a) soya, (b) maize and (c) rapeseed approval has been given for import in the UK for use in animal feed in the form of (i) oil, (ii) meal and (iii) whole grain. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 17 November 2008]: The following list gives the types of GM soya, maize and oilseed rape products that have EU approval for import into the EU for use in animal feed in any form. Details of all approved GM crops are available on the European Commission website.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with British Waterways on progress towards its target to expand its waterways network by 2012. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: I have had discussions with British Waterways on the strategic approach to getting best benefit from its waterways. The Government remain fully supportive of British Waterways ambition to expand its network, provided this is not at the expense of compromising its ability to maintain its existing network through creating additional on-going financial liabilities.
British Waterways is currently leading on a number of major waterway network expansion projects around the country, including the Bow Back Rivers in Londons Olympic Park, the Liverpool Link, the Droitwich Canals and the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will instruct the Fish Health Inspectorate to reduce the five working days notice required for a visual inspection of mussels on the seabed in an approved zone in the open sea west of Brixham harbour so as to provide an EU health certificate under Commission Decision 2007/104/EC. 
Huw Irranca-Davies [holding answer 17 November 2008]: The Fish Health Inspectorates requirement for five working days notice is a long standing arrangement and part of their citizens charter. The Fish Health Inspectorate guarantee to provide a visual inspection service within this time period, but will endeavour to meet shorter deadlines where possible, through dialogue with the exporter.
Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many submissions to the voluntary reporting scheme for engineered nanoscale materials his Department received from (a) industry and (b) universities. 
Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when his Departments review of the voluntary reporting scheme for engineered nanoscale materials will conclude; and when he expects to report its findings. 
Huw Irranca-Davies [holding answer 17 November 2008]: DEFRA, in partnership with the UK Technology Strategy Board, funded a survey of industry and researcher views of the scheme by the Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network. This concluded in October and will be published on the DEFRA website in due course. The ministerial group on nanotechnologies will next meet in December and will consider future options for the scheme, reflecting upon the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollutions report and taking into account the European Commissions review of existing regulations.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether compensatory habitats for large developments provided for under the EU Habitats Directive may be located in a member state other than the one where the development takes place. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: In circumstances where a development is allowed despite an assessment that it will have a significant adverse effect on a Natura 2000 site, the Habitats Directive requires the member state to take all compensatory measures necessary to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected.
The directive provides no further details, although non-statutory guidance from the European Commission states that compensatory habitat should relate to the same biogeographical region in the same member state and should be as close as possible to the habitat adversely affected by the development.
Huw Irranca-Davies: My Department's Darwin Initiative, our annual grants programme intended to use UK-based biodiversity expertise to assist countries rich in biodiversity but less so in resources, has funded 10 projects in Madagascar over the last 12 years. These include three on bat conservation, a wetlands project, a project on small vertebrates in the Tsingy Beneraha National Park, one on chameleon conservation within local communities, one on littoral forests, and two projects on training in biodiversity. A further two projects are under consideration.
Another mechanism by which DEFRA funds species conservation projects is the Flagship Species Fund (FSF). Launched in 2001 in partnership with Fauna and Flora International, the FSF provides practical support for the conservation of endangered species and their habitats in developing countries. The FSF has funded a number of projects in Madagascar, including one on golden frogs, flying foxes and the conservation of 'orphan forests' in 2007.
Although not funded by DEFRA, we are also aware that the British High Commission in Mauritius (responsible for the UK's relations with Madagascar) has funded several smaller reforestation projects out of their Bilateral fund. The High Commission also supports the Madagascar Action Plan (MAP), Madagascar's strategic five year plan. The plan includes eight commitments which aim to eradicate poverty and focus on medium and long-term development, one of which is conservation of the environment.
John Howell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress his Department has made in conducting noise mapping of the M40 at Milton Common in Oxfordshire in accordance with the Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006; what consultations he has held on this matter; and when new noise levels will be set. 
Huw Irranca-Davies [holding answer 13 November 2008]: I can confirm that this section of road has been noise mapped. Results are available on DEFRA's noise mapping website. No consultations have been held yet. A consultation will be held on the noise action plan for major roads soon.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the written answer of 21 July 2008, Official Report, column 748W, on noise pollution, whether the repeal of restrictions on demonstrations in Parliament Square will result in (a) permanent encampments and (b) unrestricted amplified broadcast noise being permitted. 
Huw Irranca-Davies [holding answer 20 October 2008]: The Report of the Joint Committee on the Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill, published on 31 July 2008, included a number of recommendations on the Government's proposals to repeal sections 132-138 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 which pertain to demonstrations around Parliament. The recommendations of the Joint Committee addressed both permanent protests and noise nuisance and the Government will be responding imminently to the Report.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff in his Department did not achieve an acceptable assessment grade in their annual report in the latest reporting year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding is available from the public purse to support the registration of crop protection products for off-label use. 
[holding answer 17 November 2008]: The Government's long-term policy is that off-label applications should not benefit from funding from the public purse. However, as an interim measure, a small
amount of Government support is provided in respect of those applications which, for legal reasons, cannot benefit from the subsidy available through the levy on pesticide sales.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the total cost of the current process of registering crop protection products for off-label use. 
Huw Irranca-Davies [holding answer 17 November 2008]: The current cost of processing an off-label approval is £1,700. Around 150 off-label applications are processed each year indicating a total cost for the process of £255,000 per year.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the implementation of proposed EU regulations on crop protection chemicals; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The proposed regulation on the marketing of plant protection products will apply directly in UK law, though there will need to be some national implementing measures. Where national measures are required, they will be adopted in secondary legislation. The Department will consult on any implementing measures in the usual way at the appropriate stage.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with UK Members of the European Parliament on European Commission proposals for new regulations on pesticides. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: My predecessor, Phil Woolas, discussed the proposals in Brussels with UK members of the Parliament's Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee. Officials have been in regular contact with UK MEPs about the proposals and have provided detailed briefing on the Parliament's proposed amendments.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many documents produced by his Department were submitted to the Plain English Campaign for approval for Crystal Mark status in each year since 2005; and how many documents achieved such status in each year. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: My Department does submit documents for approval for Crystal Mark Status. However, information on the number of documents submitted and approved is not collated centrally and the figures could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
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