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Endangered Species

Volume 707: debated on Thursday 12 February 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the proposal to clone endangered species in order to preserve the species for future generations; and what steps they are taking to discourage the destruction of the habitats of endangered species. [HL1236]

Creating clones by nuclear transfer is regulated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. The use of endangered species listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) is generally prohibited under the 1986 Act, but an exemption may be granted for research aimed at the preservation of the species in question.

The Government are fully committed to the protection of habitats of endangered species. This is achieved through implementation of the relevant European directives and other international agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Ramsar Convention, the domestic programme of notifying important habitats as sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) and through the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

SSSIs conserve and protect the best of England's wildlife, geological and physiographical heritage. The Government's overall objective is for SSSIs to be appropriately and, where necessary, positively managed for the benefit of their nature conservation interests. We are committed to our public service agreement target that 95 per cent of the area of SSSIs in England should be in favourable or recovering condition by December 2010 and are working in partnership with all those on whose actions achievement of the target depends.

The Marine and Coastal Access Bill, which is currently before this House, provides for the designation and protection of a new type of marine protected area—marine conservation zones. This will help the UK to meet our commitment to establish an ecologically coherent and well-managed network of marine protected areas by 2012.