§ Mr. Worthington
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the contemporary environmental conditions in Kuwait in the aftermath of the Gulf war; and what continuing involvement there is by British companies and agencies in the alleviation of those conditions.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
The clean-up operations in Kuwait following the Gulf war are almost complete. There was a high degree of British participation in tackling the immediate environmental consequences, both bilaterally and through the United Nations Environmental Programme. By the end of 1991, all the oil fires were extinguished and no floating oil remained at sea.
In 1992, the United States ship Mount Mitchell conducted a research cruise on the extent of contamination in the Persian gulf. Since then, we have made no recent assessment of the environmental conditions in Kuwait, although scientific research into the long-term effects of the oil fires continues. The Regional Organisation for the Protection of the Marine Environment makes regionally based assessments. Meanwhile, Royal Ordnance plc continues to conduct minefield clearance operations in Kuwait.