NEWS FROM WESTMINSTER
Barry at the UN Convention on Biodiversity
Barry Gardiner MP is currently attending the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan, in his capacity of Vice President of GLOBE UK, the Global Legislators Organisation.
After Monday's session, Mr Ahmed Djoghlaf, the Executive Secretary of the Convention, issued a statement praising Barry's international activity for the protection of the environment.
Barry elected to the DECC Select Committee
Barry Gardiner MP has been elected to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee of the House of Commons.
The Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department of Energy and Climate Change and its associated public bodies.
More on this Select Commitee role and activity is available here.
Four Cheers for the Government’s failure to stop Illegal Timber!
This week the Government are holding a drinks party to congratulate themselves on the new European Union directive on illegal timber. The directive is five years late. It is toothless and it fails to achieve the objective of putting an end to this trade that costs developing countries up to $15 billion each year. So let me suggest some toasts that may bring an unwelcome air of reality to their revels…
“Let us raise a glass to the first ditching of a manifesto commitment!” The promise was to introduce UK legislation to ban the import and possession of illegal timber. In a speech to the Green Alliance last November William Hague set out Conservative policy to pass radical new UK legislation on top of a strengthened EU directive.
He was right then. He is wrong now. Back in November I even publicly praised him for his bold stance outflanking Hilary Benn! — Unsurprising really since the proposed Bill was a carbon copy of the one I had introduced unsuccessfully in 2008.
“Let us raise a glass to our leadership in Europe!” In November Hague promised “to send a message to the rest of Europe that we are ready to lead on closing the market to illegally timber”. Now the Government has decided not only to leave everything to the EU but to ditch any separate stronger legislation.
“Let us raise a glass to corporate lawyers!” The new EU directive will leave an enormous loophole that allows smart lawyers to set up “shell companies” for each consignment of illegal timber imported into the EU. The effect of this is that genuine importers who make an honest mistake will be penalised whilst genuine criminals who know precisely what they are doing will get away with impunity. The government knows this. Officials admit this. But who am I to spoil a good party.
Barry's first weeks in Parliament
On Tuesday 18th May, I attended the Mullivaikal remembrance day and joined more than ten thousand Tamils to commemerate the deaths of the war crime victims in Sri Lanka. The event, held in Parliament square, involved prayers, laying flowers on the mock tomb, candle light vigil and speeches.
On 30th June, I was invited to the opening of the Sanatan Mandir in Wembley. It is absolutely stunning and everyone who goes in there cannot fail to really be mindful of the unity. With 14 years of contruction the £16 million Hindu Mandir consists of 41 marble deites all made in India and I was grateful to witness the holy ceremony.
On Tuesday 8th June, World Oceans Day, I chaired the Global Marine Recovery Strategy. 40 senior Members of Parliament from 15 key fishing nations and regions, including Japan, US, Europe, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil agreed a Global Marine Recovery Strategy on world fisheries intended to reverse the decline of global fisheries.
London Wildlife Trust's manifesto: Wild London
I signed up to the London Wildlife Trust\'s Manifesto, 'Wildlife Matters'. I want to commit to continuing my fight to maintain or restore London's wildlife and ecosystems.
"London Wildlife Trust is the only charity dedicated solely to protecting the capital\'s wildlife and wild spaces. We manage over fifty London-wide reserves and campaign to save important wildlife habitats, engaging London's diverse communities through access to our nature reserves, volunteering programmes and education work."
To read the rest of the 'Wildlife Matters' manifesto that I am committed to please click here.
Health Care Debate
The Health Care in London Debate held in the chamber of the House of Commons on 9 March 2010 aptly coincided with International Womens Week. Below you can read what I said in the debate or you can see on my Youtube channel here: