UK appoints new minister with joint responsibility for development and environment
A new minister with joint responsibility to the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs has been appointed for the first time, as part of a wider ministerial reshuffle across the whole UK government. The minister, Zac Goldsmith, a Conservative Party MP for Richmond, will focus on expanding the protected areas around the UK’s overseas territories and will continue Britain’s leadership in addressing illegal wildlife trade making sure nature recovery is at the heart of UK assistance.
The new appointment means that three out of DFID’s five ministers work jointly with other departments. Commentators have had a mixed response to the changes; some welcome a more integrated approach to delivering development assistance, while others fear this signals the beginning of the end for DFID as a stand-alone department and will reduce the strong focus of UK development assistance on reducing poverty.