§ Mr. Yeo
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what assessment he has made of the284W environmental implications of the proposed new gravel airstrip to be built by the Natural Environment Research Council's British Antarctic Survey in the British Antarctic Territory; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
The British Antarctic Survey has made a thorough assessment of the consequences for the environment of the proposed new airstrip. NERC has submitted a comprehensive environmental evaluation to me and to my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. I am placing copies in the Libraries of both Houses today. Further copies are available from NERC. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has circulated the evaluation to the consultative parties to the Antarctic treaty in accordance with recommendation XIV-2 of the treaty. Any comments received will be considered in preparing the final text of the report and be taken into account in 285W reaching final decisions about the construction of the airstrip. I commend this thorough report to hon. Members as further evidence of the Government's concern for the environment.