The Welsh Government Environment Minister, John Griffiths, is keen to hear views on how the new body that will manage Wales’ natural resources should operate and exactly what powers and duties it should have.
The Minister has today launched an eight week consultation which invites further views on specific aspects of the powers and functions of the new body that is due to become fully operational on 1 April 2013.
The new body will replace Environment Agency Wales, Countryside Council for Wales and Forestry Commission Wales. Its aim is to ensure the most sustainable and effective management of Wales’ natural resources, to deliver a more streamlined way of working and to cut unnecessary duplication to a minimum.
It is estimated that over ten years the body will deliver up to £158 million in benefits before costs, freeing up resources for front line delivery.
The consultation is split into two parts. The first looks at the overarching duties of the new body and specifically those relating to natural beauty, conservation, access, protection of historic landscape and forestry. These are areas where a number of duties have to be brought together and reconciled, rather than simply transferred.