To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) of 25 June, Official Report, column 39, he will raise at the special session of the United Nations Environmental Programme the problem of wetlands conservation as a priority evolving environmental issue, in relation to Halvergate marshes; and if he will make a statement.
I see no need to raise the subject of wetlands conservation at the UNEP governing council since such issues were recently discussed in some depth at the fourth conference of the Ramsar convention on wetlands of international importance in Montreux, Switzerland.
Since 1987 Halvergate marshes have been afforded the protection provided by designation of the Broads as an environmentally sensitive area under article 19 of EC regulation 797/85. In 1989 a substantial proportion of the marshes was given additional protection by inclusion in the second tier of the ESA scheme, which imposes more restrictions on operations by participating farmers.