BMAPA and environmental NGOs sign joint statement
Featured in30 July 2008 - 11:44
THE British Marine Aggregate Producers’ Association (BMAPA) has added its signature to a joint statement on the Marine Bill that highlights areas of common agreement on the draft Bill with fellow seabed users.
The joint statement between the Seabed User and Developer Group (SUDG), to which BMAPA belongs, and Wildlife and Countryside Link (Link), which brings together numerous environmental NGOs, is being hailed as an example of how the marine sector and environmental interest groups can work together to ensure the sustainable development of the marine environment.
BMAPA has been at the forefront of the consultation process on the draft Marine Bill since its launch on 3 April 2008. Commenting on the Bill, BMAPA director Mark Russell said: ‘From the marine aggregate sector’s perspective, the Marine Bill represents an unprecedented opportunity to deliver a more consistent and robust policy and planning environment across UK seas, against which industry operators should be able to take more confident business decisions.’
In welcoming the joint statement, he added: ‘The fact that UK marine development interests have been able to develop a common position with the environmental NGO’s on the Bill demonstrates how far both sides have come in working together, and shows the degree of common ground that exists between both interest groups in securing the sustainable use of UK seas.’
BMAPA’s positive welcome for the joint statement was echoed by Lisa Chilton of The Wildlife Trusts, an environmental signatory through Link. ‘We are delighted that we can stand together with SUDG in support of Marine Conservation Zones, marine planning and other key elements of the Bill that are essential for sustainable management of UK seas,’ she commented.
The joint statement was also welcomed by Marine and Fisheries Minister Jonathon Shaw, who described it as a highly beneficial collaboration for the future of the seas. ‘This joint statement between industry and environmentalists is a great example of how we can all work together to get the Marine Bill right and ensure clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas for future generations,’ he said.
The signing of the joint statement coincided with the launch of a SUDG brochure entitled ‘Sustainable Development and the Sea’, which sets out an industry perspective on the Marine Bill. Commenting on the brochure, SUDG chairman Peter Barham said: ‘This brochure highlights how a Marine Bill that provides better regulation and marine management that benefits both business and the environment will help ensure the sustainable development of our seas.’
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