§ 97. Mr. Michael Brown
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what resources Her Majesty's Government are making available to international organisations and to other countries to assist and encourage environmental improvements.
§ Mr. Trippier
In the current year the Government expect to give financial assistance to a range of international organisations as follows:
£ The United Nations Environment Programme 3,000,000 The Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change 750,000 The Convention and Protocol for the Protection of the Ozone Layer 83,000 The Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution 72,000 The OECD Chemicals Programme 52,000 The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance 14,000 The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals 41,000 CITES 1 85,000 The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources 50,000 The European Environmental Bureau 5,000 1 Approximately.
This is in addition to the general financial contributions by Government to the European Community, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the United Nations.
Government assistance to developing countries is provided through the aid programme which has as a central aim the promotion of sustainable development. Environmental issues are addressed in all projects and programmes under the aid programme, which is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Minister for Overseas Development. On eastern Europe, we are working through the Group of 24 and the 300 million ecu aid fund established by the European Community.
§ Mr. Trippier
A sound and up-to-date planning framework is essential if we are to protect and improve the urban and rural environment. We have recently urged county planning authorities to revise and update their structure plans where necessary, and we are encouraging district planning authorities to extend the coverage of local plans. While plans must make adequate provision for necessary development, the decisions they embody about the distribution of new development can and should reflect communities' concerns for the protection of the local environment.
We also issued new draft planning advice last autumn which removes the previous strong presumption in favour of releasing land for housing development; stresses the importance of good design in new housing schemes; and encourages planning authorities to develop policies for the protection of existing residential areas, where their 758W character is threatened by excessive infilling and redevelopment. Such policies should be embodied in local plans.