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Developing Countries: Biodiversity

Department for International Development written question – answered on 18th May 2020.

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Photo of Jonathan Edwards Jonathan Edwards Shadow PC Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Foreign Intervention), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to help (a) sustain conservation efforts and (b) preserve biodiversity in conservation areas dependent upon tourism in developing countries in response to the covid-19 pandemic.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Tackling climate change and biodiversity loss remain a high priority for this Government. As we help developing countries tackle COVID-19 and its economic impact, we continue to pursue our environmental and climate change goals. The Government recognises that action on COVID-19 and on climate change and the environment are crucial to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and that investing in nature can bring multiple benefits, such as building resilience, creating jobs, restoring ecosystems, improving health outcomes, as well as protecting biodiversity.

DFID has a number of programmes that tackle the underlying drivers and systems that contribute to environmental degradation, for example our significant support for sustainable forestry and land use. The UK is also a strong supporter of the Global Environment Facility, and we are working closely with them on a COVID-19 action plan.

DFID does not currently fund programmes that support ecotourism specifically.DFID officials are working with Defra counterparts to take forward the £100 million Biodiverse Landscape Fund announced by the Prime Minister, which may include support for ecotourism.

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