HC Deb 25 October 1973 vol 861 cc654-5W
Mr. Tope

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the progress made by the Government in response to the documents unanimously adopted by the Conference on the Environment at Stockholm last year.

Mr. Rippon

The recommendations adopted at Stockholm covered a vast range of environmental activities. Domestically, the policies we are following and the steps we have taken are wholly consistent with the aim of the conference to preserve and enhance the quality of our environment. For example, more than one mile in every 10 of rivers in England and Wales that were classified as heavily polluted two years ago have been improved and today well over three-quarters of our non-tidal rivers are now pollution-free.

Internationally, our aim is to see that the impetus gained at Stockholm towards the solution of global and regional environmental problems is maintained. Her Majesty's Government acted as host and chaired the successful international conference on the global convention to control dumping at sea. We continue to lead the way in the development of the international referral service for a central register of worldwide sources of environmental information and we are playing a leading rôle at the new Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme established to follow up the Stockholm recommendations. I hope to lead the United Kingdom delegation at the council's next session to be held at its new headquarters in Nairobi next March.