HC Deb 26 April 2002 vol 384 cc503-4W
Malcolm Bruce

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps have been taken by the Government since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 to(a) set goals on environmental protection and (b) improve eco-efficiency and resource productivity relating to ocean and sea issues; and what these (i) goals and (ii) improvements have been. [44347]

Mr. Meacher

The OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the North East Atlantic came into force in 1998. The contracting parties have agreed strategies and goals in five areas: the protection and conservation of the ecosystem and biodiversity; hazardous substances; radioactive substances; eutrophication; and offshore oil and gas. The United Kingdom played a full part in developing the strategies. The Quality Status Report published by OSPAR in 2000 highlights progress made and future challenges.

The Marine Stewardship Report, to be launched on 1 May 2002, highlights past achievements and new initiatives relating to our policy on promoting sustainable development of the marine environment. Furthermore, oceans and seas will be a priority issue for the UK at the forthcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development.