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Biodiversity

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps her Department plans to take to monitor the extent to which public bodies which report to her comply, from October, with their duty to conserve biodiversity in exercising their functions, under section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. (74407)

Under Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, all public bodies have a duty to have regard to the conservation of biodiversity in the exercising of their functions. There is no statutory obligation on Departments to monitor the extent to which public bodies comply with this duty. However, we understand Defra is working with a wide range of partners to develop guidance for public bodies to support the implementation of this duty and will involve all relevant Departments on the development of guidance.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs 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. (73948)

The Minister in the Department for Constitutional Affairs responsible for maintaining compliance under section 74 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 1974 is Baroness Ashton of Upholland.