§ Mr. Morley
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he last designated an area under the Ramsar convention on the conservation of wetlands of international importance; if he will indicate the area which is next to be designated; and when he expects to designate it.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
At the time of ratification of the Ramsar convention on wetlands of international importance especially as waterfowl habitat by the United Kingdom in 1976 Lough Neagh and Lough Beg were jointly listed as being conserved under the terms of the convention. This is the only Ramsar site in Northern Ireland, although a number of other areas are under consideration. It is essential that any further sites in Northern Ireland are fully protected under the provisions of the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 before designation as Ramsar sites and there are no plans for the listing of further sites in the immediate future.