§ Mr. Milligan
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the Advisory Committee on the Darwin Initiative and indicate its membership.
§ Mr. Howard
The Prime Minister signed the convention on biological diversity in Rio de Janiero at the UN conference on environment and development. In order to support the aims of the convention he launched at that time the Darwin initiative for the survival of species. The initiative aims to deploy British scientific, managerial and commercial strengths in biodiversity to assist with the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and natural habitats.
In December a consultation paper was issued to a wide variety of individuals, organisations and individuals seeking views on the scope of the initiative and ideas for projects which might meet the initiative's objectives. I announced at that time that I intended to establish an 277W advisory committee on the Darwin initiative. This committee will have regard to the work already in progress on biodiversity and the available resources, and will make recommendations on the areas on which the Darwin initiative should initially be targeted, the relative priority to be given to different programmes, and the financial support to be made available to them. Sir Crispin Tickell has agreed to be chairman of that committee, and I am pleased to announce that the other members of the committee are: Ms. Janet Barber, Dr. Brian Bayne FIBiol, Dr. Eileen Buttle FIBiol, Mr. Robin Herbert DL JP, David Horrobin, professor Robert May FRS and Sir David Smith FRS FRSE. The committee held its first meeting on 15 February.