HC Deb 11 July 2002 vol 388 c1123W
Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures the United Kingdom Government are taking to encourage other EU Governments to adopt timber procurement policies similar to those in place in the United Kingdom in respect of timber sourced legally and sustainably; and if she will make a statement. [68032]

Mr. Morley

The Government have promoted their timber procurement policy to EU member states and other countries on a number of occasions. The Minister for the Environment gave a speech on implementation of the UK procurement policy, experiences gained and lessons learned on 23 May to an international audience including some EU member states, G8 countries and China. He encouraged them to adopt similar policies. The European Commission was sent a consultation paper on implementation of the policy in the UK to help the Commission prepare for the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade workshop held in Brussels over 22–24 April. The Government's consultation exercise itself was widely publicised and the discussion held on 25 March was attended by stakeholders from across Europe. The policy has been notified to the OECD Steering Group on Green Public Purchasing and in April a Government official gave a presentation on the policy at an international conference on illegal logging held in the USA.

It is the Government's intention to continue to work closely with other EU member states and the Commission both to further promote the UK timber policy and to share experience gained and lessons learned through implementation. When the next UK consultation exercise is complete and the report we have commissioned from ERM consultants finished we will ensure that the recommendations and actions that follow are widely publicised.