§ Dr. Tonge
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had with the Department of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions concerning loss of biodiversity among traditional crop varieties for Third World farmers. 
§ Mr. Foulkes
The Department for International Development (DFID) officials have frequently discussed the loss of biodiversity among traditional crop varieties of Third World farmers with the Department of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions. Our objective is to ensure that this important issue is taken fully into account in all relevant aspects of the UK's international policies. In particular we, along with these departments, actively contribute to the UK participation in meetings under the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Convention's multi-year work programme on agriculture biodiversity specifically recognises and seeks to support the significant contribution that traditional farming communities have made to the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity and the importance of traditional varieties.
Our officials are also actively involved in the UK participation at the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources which oversees the implementation of the Global Plan of Action on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The Global Plan of Action includes measures to halt the loss of biodiversity among traditional crop varieties in developing countries.
We will be actively concerned to ensure that the conservation of agricultural biodiversity in developing countries is taken fully into account in relevant negotiations under the WTO and within the EU.