§ Mr. Chris Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what assessment he has made of the amendments required to sections 36 and 37 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to meet the obligations under the new EC directive on the conservation of flora, fauna and habitats relating to the marine environment;.
(2) if he will introduce new legislative measures to guard against the degradation of sites of special scientific interest and other areas requiring special conservation measures under the EC directive on the conservation of flora, fauna and habitats.
§ Mr. Simon Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will strengthen the marine nature reserve provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in order to meet the obligations of the new EC habitats directive; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Maclean
The Government's response to the Select Committee report on coastal zone protection and planning recognises the difficulties in application of sections 36 and 37 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. We shall 791W ensure that the proposals for implementation of the marine conservation aspects of the habitats directive fully meet the directive's requirements.