§ Mr. Spearing
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what statutory, or other, consultations are being initiated by Her Majesty's Government with statutory and other bodies in fulfilment of obligations arising from(a) the biodiversity convention and (b) legislation of the European Community consequent on the biodiversity convention. 
§ Mr. Clappison
The Government have consulted widely in the development of the UK biodiversity action plan which was produced in accordance with article 6 of the biodiversity convention. The publication of the plan in January 1994 followed a consultation involving some 300 organisations, including a two-day seminar in May 1993. In June 1995, a biodiversity steering group was established to advise Government on taking forward the plan. The group includes representatives from central and local government, the statutory conservation agencies, industry, the national collections and academia, landowners and land managers and the voluntary conservation bodies. It will publish a report in December and a Government response is planned early in the new year. Copies of both documents will be placed in the Library.
The UK delegation to the first meeting of the conference of the Parties to the Biodiversity Convention held consultation meetings with interested parties both before and during the meeting in Nassau last year. This approach is being repeated in preparation for the second conference next month in Jakarta.
The Government issued a public consultation paper in October 1993 about the legal transposition of the EU habitats directive. The Conservation (Natural Habitats & C.) Regulations 1994, approved by Parliament in October 1994, were prepared in the light of the consultation. In March this year, the Government consulted interested parties on a list of possible special areas of conservation under the directive. Similar consultation takes place before the classification of special protection areas under the birds directive.