§ Mr. Morley
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether, with regard to the Ramsar convention on the conservation of wetlands of international importance, Her Majesty's Government are required to designate sites under the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands Order 1985 prior to designation under the Ramsar convention.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
It is not a requirement of the Ramsar convention that wetland sites of international importance should be designated under the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 prior to designation under the Ramsar convention. It is United Kingdom Government policy to declare Ramsar sites after the areas have been given full protection under domestic legislation.