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Written Ministerial Statements

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Convention on Biological Diversity

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Mrs Caroline Spelman): I attended the High-Level Segment 10th Conference of Parties to the convention on biological diversity, known as the Nagoya biodiversity summit, from 27 to 30 October. A team of officials from my Department and the Department for International Development supported me, having attended throughout the conference to prepare the ground for the ministerial High-Level Segment.

The conference concluded with all three of the UK's main objectives fully achieved:

In addition to the three key issues under discussion, the Nagoya meeting saw nearly 50 individual decisions relating to a wide range of biodiversity issues-such as protected areas, biofuels, and invasive alien species-approved. The agreement emphasises the value of the natural environment to human welfare and livelihoods, and reflects the links between biodiversity, climate change and development. Notably, we gained agreement for the CBD to develop advice on the application of safeguards for biodiversity under REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries). The UK played a key role in securing this agreement.

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Additionally on 26 October, I represented the UK at a ministerial meeting of the REDD+ partnership, a group of some 60 countries. This was an important opportunity to generate momentum before negotiations on REDD+ recommence at the UNFCCC meeting in Cancun later this year. At this meeting, I outlined the extended commitment to international climate finance provided under the spending review.

On the first day of the High-Level Segment, 27 October, I gave a speech, which included commitments on:

The new strategic plan will set the framework within which all 193 parties to the convention of biological diversity will be expected to operate domestically in order to play their part in the global conservation effort. Plans for implementing key elements of it in England will be included in the natural environment White Paper to be published in the spring.

Prime Minister

United Kingdom-France Summit

The Prime Minister (Mr David Cameron): I am today issuing a declaration with President Sarkozy that proposes further co-operation in defence and security.

Underpinning this co-operation will be two treaties.

First we shall sign a defence and security co-operation treaty to develop co-operation between our armed forces to make our forces more interoperable, to maximise our capabilities, and to obtain greater value for money from our investment in defence.

Second we shall collaborate in the technology associated with nuclear stockpile stewardship in support of our respective independent nuclear deterrent capabilities, in full compliance with our international obligations.

In both cases this represents an intensification of our already strong relationship, not a reduction in national sovereignty.

I am placing a copy of the declaration in the Libraries of both Houses.

The treaties will be laid before Parliament in the usual way.

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