§ Mr. Bowis
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will discuss with his European counterparts and with the FAO the setting up of an international emergency bird rescue organisation equipped to send aid and rescue personnel and equipment to major oil spillages and other disasters where bird life is threatened.
§ Mr. Trippier
[holding answer 25 February 1991]: The Government have given some financial support to an RSPCA team now helping several Gulf states to organise bird rescue.
The most effective way to minimise the impact of' an oil spill on wildlife, including birds, is to ensure prompt and effective remedial action to clean up the spill. We strongly support early entry into force of the International Maritime Organisation's international convention on oil pollution preparedness, response and co-operation and have received backing from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development for this as well as for my right hon. Friend's call to strengthen the international response to future environmental disasters. We also look forward to discussing a feasibility study prepared by the United Nations Environmental Programme on improved international co-operation and assistance in the case of environmental threats and emergencies at the United Nations Environmental Programme's governing council in June this year.