Secretary of State, Ministers, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am enormously grateful to you all I must say for taking the trouble to attend this unbelievably important meeting, as I know that some of you have travelled tremendously long distances and may very well be suffering from some appalling jet lag or other.
I also am hugely grateful to Kate Silverton for giving up her precious time. I know she’s taken a huge interest in this particular subject for some time. Having been lucky enough to sit next to her at dinner once or twice I know how much she minds. So it really is very kind of you Kate, today.
I particularly appreciate the fact that Mr Owen Paterson, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has agreed to join me in hosting this meeting, and I also owe a particular debt of gratitude to WWF UK (of which I became President two years ago), as well as to TRAFFIC and the IUCN. Their knowledge and expertise have been inval