Oral Answers to Questions — Overseas Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th February 1997.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the performance of ODA projects in Latin America. 
ODA projects in Latin America are monitored and reviewed regularly. Our view, which is shared by Latin American Governments, is that they are generally very effective in achieving their objectives.
Bearing in mind that the trade winds that so affect our climate and rainfall originate in the Amazon basin, is not it extremely important that the great expertise that we have in this country—at Kew gardens, for example—is put at the disposal of the Brazilian Government and their many institutions to ensure sustainable use of the tropical rain forest that does not destroy it?
We are supporting substantial environmental programmes in the region, including forestry programmes in Brazil and Mexico and a sustainable rural development programme in Bolivia. The programmes are well regarded. A specific example to which I draw my hon. Friend's attention is Lake Mamiraua in Brazil, whose approach to forestry conservation is likely to form the basis of—in the inimitable language of the ODA—
a large Brazilian multi-donor biodiversity corridors programme.
While the Minister is on the subject of the rain forest in Brazil, will he say what pressures he has been able to put on the Brazilian Government to protect the land rights of native peoples living in the Amazon rain forest; against water pollution from illegal mining; against driving people from their land to promote plantation, agriculture or other forms of farming; or, indeed, against the army killing people who stand up for the rights of indigenous peoples within the rain forest area? How is the large amount of European, World bank and ODA money for those projects monitored?
I shall start with the last point first. We monitor all our projects at least twice a year. In addition, each project is reviewed midway and on completion. Our aid programme to Brazil is large; it is our largest in the region. We have a very large forestry programme, and we make representations because one of the conditions of our supplying aid is sustainability and environmental considerations. We make those points regularly.