Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Clause 41 - Biodiversity lists and action (England)

Part of Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 28th June 2005.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Rural Affairs, Landscape and Biodiversity), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Rural Affairs, Landscape and Biodiversity) 11:30 am, 28th June 2005

Clause 41 places a duty on the Secretary of State to publish lists of living organisms and types of habitat in England that she believes to be of principal importance for the purpose of conserving biodiversity, and to consult Natural England before doing so. The clause reflects the current position, which was introduced by section 74 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

The clause requires the Secretary of State to take reasonably practical steps to further—how nice to use that word—the conservation of living organisms and types of habitat, to promote the taking of other such steps, to keep under review the published list, and to publish any revisions of the list.

Clause 42 places similar duties on the National Assembly for Wales, requiring it to consult the Countryside Council for Wales in carrying out the duties.

Amendments Nos. 4 and 5 propose that the Secretary of State and the National Assembly for Wales should consult other bodies as they see fit. As they are likely to want to consult other interested bodies—I am about to say what the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire thought I might—the amendments are not necessary and do not add anything. In the normal course of things, we should and do consult; whom we consult should depend on the issue on which we are consulting. If anything, the amendment would weaken the clause by reducing the important roles to be played by Natural England and the Countryside Council for Wales, although I do not want to overplay that point.

In essence, the hon. Gentleman and I disagree, as ever, on whether something should be explicit in the Bill or implicit. I argue, as ever, that implicit is sufficient. On that note, I hope that he will withdraw his amendments.