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Environmental Appraisals

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development how many of the Department's policies have been screened for their environmental impact since June 2001; how many environmental appraisals have been conducted, and on what policy issues; and what information has been published about these screenings and appraisals. [124721]

DFID recognises the importance of environmental assessment in ensuring that environmental sustainability is integrated into development policy, planning, programmes and projects.In line with this, DFID has recently updated its environmental screening procedures to make them more efficient and effective in addressing:

changing ways that aid is being delivered (such as by direct budget support and sector-wide approaches); and
the need to better respond to the opportunities that environmental considerations provide for improving the prospects for achieving sustainable development, the Millennium Development Goals and poverty reduction, while also recognising the need to manage risks.

The new procedures, and guidance on the screening process, are detailed in DFID's Environment Guide (2003). This has been revised and is available to the public on DFID's website.

Where appropriate, screening will initiate a more comprehensive appraisal and, if necessary, a full environmental impact assessment in the case of projects or strategic environmental assessment in the case of policies, plans and programmes. Examples include:

Environmental Appraisal of DFID Support to Rural Decentralisation in West Bengal;
Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy; and
Strategic Environmental Assessment to support Russia's World Trade Organisation negotiations/accession planning.

Additionally, DFID is committed to the Sustainable Development in Government frameworks and targets, and progress on these is reported on our website.