§ Mr. Dalyell
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy of promoting the interests of biodiversity in rain forests.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
The ODA publication "Biodiversity and Developing Countries—Issues and Options" explains the priority the ODA gives to promoting biodiversity conservation, including in rain forests. Bilateral aid projects, both on a country to country basis and through British NGOs, are supported. Research is supported through ODA's natural resources programmes including the forestry research programme managed by the Oxford Forestry Institute. The ODA contributes to a variety of multilateral agencies whose programmes also include biodiversity conservation. In addition biodiversity is one of the key areas for which funding to cover certain agreed costs is available for developing countries from the global environment facility. Britain has already committed £40.3 million to the initial financing of the GEF.