HC Deb 22 June 1994 vol 245 cc219-20W
Mrs. Peacock

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will make it his policy to resist any boycott or ban of any timber species used in the United Kingdom;

(2) what action his Department is taking to ensure that no boycott or ban of any timber species is allowed to be specified in any building contracts that involve public funding;

(3) whether it is current Government policy that no timber should be discriminated against on environmental grounds.

Mr. Atkins

In terms of trade between countries, the treaty of Rome requires that all matters be dealt with by the European Community as a whole. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which is implemented within the Community under EC regulation 3626/82, controls and monitors international trade in many species of plants and animals, including some species of tree.

As to materials within the United Kingdom, my Department is committed in its own green housekeeping policy statement to encourage sustainable forest practices which maintain the biodiversity, productivity and ecological habitats of woodlands. This is reflected in our recently published guide for suppliers of goods and services to the Department, "Selling to DOE", which encourages suppliers to provide joinery, furniture and fittings manufactured only from wood produced from sustainably managed forests. There are no bans on any particular species.