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set out the strategy for using the Adaptation Reporting Power
Dan Norris: The Government's Renewable Energy Strategy sets out current and future policies to divert biomass waste from landfill, support the supply of biomass waste for energy, and drive the delivery of the necessary infrastructure.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when his Department (a) concluded and (b) expects to publish its most recent assessment of the status of the Biodiversity Action Plan, Priority Species and Priority Habitats. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The most recent assessment of the status of Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species and Habitats was published in April 2009, as part of the update to the UK Biodiversity Indicators in Your Pocket. This can be found on the website of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what
measures he has put in place to halt biodiversity loss beyond the expiry of the EU's 2010 targets; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: We are fully committed to identifying a new challenging 'post 2010' biodiversity target and we are playing a leading role in establishing it. For example, earlier this year, we hosted an international workshop in Reading which reviewed the 2010 indicators and considered implications for post 2010 indicator development. We have also been feeding into key discussions at EU and global level on the development of the post 2010 framework. Linked to this, we will co-host an international workshop with Brazil in January. This will be a key stepping stone on the path to agreeing a post 2010 target, or targets, in Japan next October.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of progress since February 2009 towards meeting the objectives set out in the EU's 2010 targets to halt biodiversity loss; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The European Commission and member states are currently compiling data to allow an assessment next year of progress against the targets in the EU Biodiversity Action Plan. We measure our progress towards the EU's 2010 target to halt biodiversity loss through the UK Biodiversity Indicators. This was reported in the National Statistics publication "Biodiversity Indicators in Your Pocket 2007", which was updated most recently in April 2009. Statistics for wild birds were updated in October 2009 and those for sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) are updated monthly.
Overall, 23 (72 per cent.) of the 32 measures that comprise the UK Biodiversity Indicators are "improving" or show "little or no overall change" since the year 2000. In particular, 89 per cent. of SSSIs are in favourable or recovering condition, agri-environment schemes are leading to significant improvements, and we have made great strides with the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consultation his Department undertook with the under 10 metre fishing industry regarding the introduction of the 500kg cod lottery draw. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: No formal consultation exercise was undertaken with the 10 metre and under fishing industry about the allocation of the additional 18 tonnes of cod quota in area VIId. It was not possible given the very short time available to arrange access to the additional fishing opportunity and still allow fishermen a reasonable chance to catch the fish before the end of the year.
The Marine and Fisheries Agency did, however, consult a number of individual fishermen on the south coast of England on a strictly informal basis on alternative allocation approaches before the final method of allocation was decided upon.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his most recent assessment is of the likely effects on the under 10 metre fishing industry of the introduction of the 500kg cod lottery draw. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The additional 18 tonnes of quota the Marine and Fisheries Agency was able to obtain for the inshore vessels to fish for cod in area VIId will prove a valuable, if limited, fishing opportunity for those vessels that received the quota. It is estimated that the additional quota will have a total value of c.£36,000 at current market prices, or £1,000 for each vessel that receives an allocation of 500kg of quota. An allocation of 500kg of quota per vessel should allow those vessels to undertake normal fishing activity and minimise discards in a mixed fishery until the end of the year.
Given the strictly limited quota available, it was not possible to open the fishery to all the licensed vessels that may have wished to take part in the fishery and remain confident of meeting the UK obligations in ensuring there is no overfish of this quota.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of Ofwat's final determination on the ability of water companies to provide alternative water supplies in the event of contamination of usual supplies by flooding; and what recent assessment he has made of the capacity of water companies to increase the resilience of their water treatment plants to flooding. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Water companies have to provide a safe and secure water supply. It is for the companies themselves to take responsibility and make decisions on how best to protect the essential services they supply.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons the chief engineers and regional engineers in each region of England are no longer in place; and what alternative structure is in place for the carrying out of their functions. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA has given the Environment Agency a strategic overview of flood and coastal erosion risk management and, in line with this, passed it the management of the capital improvements programme. The chief engineer and regional engineers were primarily focused on this work.
To facilitate this transition the Environment Agency has strengthened its role at both regional and area levels, for example, by recruiting additional coastal engineers. DEFRA also seconded staff to the Environment Agency to ensure continuity of work and training.
DEFRA retains a smaller cadre of engineers and other experienced professionals who provide input to policy development and an intelligent client function for the flood and coastal erosion risk management programme.
Huw Irranca-Davies: A fully developed National Flood Emergency Framework will be in place by June 2010, in line with the commitment given in response to Sir Michael Pitt's review on the 2007 floods. The Framework will provide the basis for Exercise Watermark-our planned national exercise in March 2011.
Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA provides funding to operating authorities for flood defences from the allocation of funding for flood and coastal erosion risk management. Over the past five financial years this allocation totalled:
|Financial year||DEFRA funding (£ million)|
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on the proposed sites for tree-planting as recommended by the National Assessment of Forestry and Climate Change. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The National Assessment of Forestry and Climate Change published on 25 November does not put forward any specific sites for tree planting and we have not received any representations.
Our Strategy for England's Trees, Woods and Forests puts a strong emphasis on planting the right tree in the right place and we will be taking an integrated approach to see where additional woodland can complement other activities.
Huw Irranca-Davies: As part of the Low Carbon Transition Plan announced in July, the Forestry Commission and DEFRA are working to develop the framework that would be needed to enable 10,000 hectares of new woodland to be created each year for the next 15 years. As part of this, the Forestry Commission will be working with partners in each region to identify the scope for increasing the area of woodland.
John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures he is considering to increase the amount of home-grown horticultural produce; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: On 21 October I chaired the first meeting of the fruit and vegetable task force. It will look at how we can boost domestic production and consumption of fruit and vegetables in England. This is in addition to the support already provided which includes funding up to £7 million of research and development last year on horticultural crops.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has made an assessment of the outcomes of the International Union for Conservation of Nature meeting held on 26 November 2009. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Secretary of State co-hosted this roundtable event along with Ashok Khosla, the President of the International Union of Conservation and Nature, in support of the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration. In the co-chairs' summary, "The London Challenge", they recognise the progress made by the partnership since its establishment in 2003, the considerable potential for forest restoration globally and the important role of forest restoration in both climate change mitigation and adaptation. Work on restoration complements the work we are doing to tackle deforestation and forest degradation. The summary goes on to reflect issues raised by participants and actions to take forest restoration forward in the coming months. The final summary will be posted on the partnership's website following its distribution to participants.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on consultancy fees during the selection process of the headquarters of the Marine Management Organisation. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA has paid £6,900 in respect of property consultancy, including the site search and financial appraisal of the property options, for the Marine Management Organisation headquarters building in Newcastle.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what arrangements have been made for the temporary accommodation of Marine and Fisheries Agency staff in Newcastle before moving to Lancaster House; and what expenditure he expects his Department to incur on such temporary accommodation. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Since the beginning of October 2009, interim accommodation for Marine and Fisheries Agency staff based in Newcastle has been the Government Office North East. Additional accommodation from 14 December will be in city centre commercial offices. It is estimated that the cost of this interim accommodation will amount to approximately £150,000.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what expenditure has been incurred on recruitment agencies engaged to recruit staff for the Marine and Fisheries Agency in the last 12 months. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: In the 12 months up to November 2009, approximately £153,000 of expenditure had been incurred on recruitment agencies as part of a continuing exercise to recruit Marine and Fisheries Agency staff.
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Environment Agency carries out an annual assessment of the number of adult salmon entering the River Dee using data from a fish trap at Chester Weir. The latest available assessment indicates a population of 5,437 adult salmon entering the River Dee in 2008.
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