HC Deb 27 June 1989 vol 155 c407W
Mr. Allen McKay

To ask the Prime Minister what action will she take in order to stop the destruction of the rain forests in the Brazilian national park by BP; and if she will take steps to oblige BP to reforest the 250,000 acres it has destroyed.

Mr. Wakeham

I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Minister for Overseas Development will be visiting Brazil, including the Amazon, from 4–9 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, including BP, claim that these press reports contain important errors of fact.

More generally, Britain is a leading supporter of the tropical forestry action plan and the International Tropical Timber Organisation, which aim to help countries conserve their forests and manage them sustainably.