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Biological Diversity

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which Minister in her Department is responsible for monitoring her Department's compliance with its duty under section 74 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 to have regard to the purpose of conserving biological diversity in carrying out its functions; and if she will make a statement. (73943)

Under Section 74 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, Ministers and Government Departments have a duty to have regard to the purpose of conserving biological diversity. This has been replaced by a similar provision under Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act which comes into effect on the 1 October 2006. There is no statutory duty to monitor compliance with this duty.

The conservation of biological diversity falls under part H of the framework for sustainable development on the Government estate. The Department does not manage any land and its potential impacts on biodiversity are not significant. Nevertheless, our indoor plant management contractors are required to follow best practice to preserve biodiversity.