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Forest Certification Schemes

Volume 447: debated on Monday 5 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 May 2006 to question 72426, on forest certification schemes, what representations the Prime Minister of Australia made to (a) the Prime Minister and (b) other Government Ministers on the programme for the endorsement of forest certification schemes. (74295)

The Prime Minister of Australia wrote to the Prime Minister expressing concern over the UK Government's assessment of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) and the impact that could have on the procurement of Australian forest products.

My hon. Friend the Member for Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley), Elliot Morley, then Minister of State for Climate Change and Environment met with Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz, Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, to discuss this matter.

Senator Abetz and other officials were able to clarify how the PEFC requirements are adopted and applied in Australia. The clarification of Australia's position was valuable in helping to consider the effectiveness of recent changes made by the PEFC scheme to its system requirements.