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Welsh ministers consult on environment body powers

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on powers for a new organisation to manage the nation’s natural resources.

The single body will replace and take over the functions of the Environment Agency Wales (EAW), Countryside Council for Wales, and the Forestry Commission Wales.

Over the eight weeks’ consultation, ministers will seek views on specific aspects of the powers and function of the new body which launches in April 2013.

Savings from the move are expected to be up to £158m before costs.

Environment minister, John Griffiths said: “The new body must maintain the crucial work of three existing bodies in protecting Wales’ natural environment, maintaining its cultural and historic landscape and ensuring access to its countryside and coast.  Importantly, it also needs to develop to meet the challenges of the future.

“I want to ensure that the new body has clear duties and powers necessary to deliver for Wales. This additional consultation will provide us with further views to shape the new body and I would urge those parties with an interest to feed into the process.”

Two parts of the consultation will look at the overarching duties relating to natural resources, and the legal and working arrangements of the new organisation.

The consultation closes on 5 October 2012.

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