§ Dr. David Clark
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will make a statement on the environmental damage caused by British companies to the Amazon rain forest;
(2) whether he will have discussions with the chairman of (a) British Petroleum, (b) Barclays, (c) Shell and (d) British American Tobacco about reducing the environmental damage caused by them to the Amazon rain forest; and if he will make a statement;
(3) whether he will sek a meeting with representatives of the Brazilian Government to discuss ways of regulating the activities of foreign companies to prevent the destruction of the Amazon rain forest; and if he will make a statement;
(4) whether he will have discussions with British Petroleum about reducing the environmental damage caused to the Amazon rain forest by that company; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Eggar
My right hon. Friend the Minister for Overseas Development will be visiting Brazil, including the Amazon region, from 4 to 9 July. During his visit, he will be discussing with Brazilian Ministers and officials our efforts to identify effective ways of helping them with a wide range of environmental problems, including rain forest conservation. He will also be meeting representatives of British companies operating in Brazil with whom he hopes to discuss their role in environmental protection.
The hon. Member will be aware of recent media reports alleging involvement by United Kingdom companies in rain forest destruction. We are studying these, but I understand that the companies claim that these press reports contain important errors of fact, and that they themselves operate significant environmental protection programmes in their projects in Brazil.