§ Lord Moran
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What measures have been taken since ratification by the United Kingdom of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (the Ramsar Convention: Cmnd. 6465) to comply with the requirements in Article 3.1 of that convention to "promote the wise use of wetlands" in the United Kingdom.
§ Lord Belstead
The wise use of wetlands listed under the Ramsar Convention is, as envisaged by Article 3.1, achieved primarily through the planning system. Sites considered for listing must first be notified as sites of special scientific interest under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This ensures that the Nature Conservancy Council is consulted about development proposals in such sites, so that conservation interests can be fully considered with and balanced against other relevant interests when development decisions are made. The UK has so far designated 31 Ramsar sites, covering over 90,000 hectares.