International oceans group "should be formed"

UK urged to push for intergovernmental panel, work for reform of EU fishing policy

A renewal of its proposal to create an intergovernmental panel on the oceans was at the centre of the fourth report of the UK Panel on Sustainable Development, released today. Speaking at the launch, the panel's convenor Sir Crispin Tickell said that environmental legislation concerning the seas was "far behind" legislation in other areas, and stressed the need for a body analogous to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He called on the UK government to "get things going" during its six-month presidency of the EU, in particular to push for "fast action" on a review of the EU's common fisheries policy. He acknowledged that fishing raises "delicate issues" in many areas but stressed the need to "see the political reality" in order to solve problems. The report also deals with endocrine disrupting chemicals and the greening of architecture. In particular, Sir Crispin found fault with the previous UK government's predictions for housing needs until the year 2016, arguing that it is not possible to predict social change so far into the future. He urged the current administration to undertake its own studies.

Follow Up:
British Government Panel on Sustainable Development, tel: +44 171 890 4962.

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