asked Her Majesty's Government:What conclusions were reached at the conference of Mediterranean countries at Athens under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme on the protection of endangered animals and plants; and what is the Government's attitude to the decisions.
The meeting was held under the auspices of the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution and the associated Mediterranean Action Plan. The United Kingdom is not a party to the convention and thus did not participate, but I understand that agreement was reached on the text of a protocol—the fourth in a series under the convention—defining the criteria for the choice of a network of protected areas (sea parks) in the Mediterranean. The protocol includes measures for the operation and protection of the sea parks, which will be selected by a joint scientific committee.
Her Majesty's Government regard the convention and action plan—which all Mediterranean coastal states except Albania have signed—as an excellent example of the co-operation which can be achieved in the field of the environment but believe that it is a matter for the states directly concerned to decide how best the convention should be implemented.