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A new Single Environmental Body for Wales

Today, the Welsh Government confirmed its commitment to create a new environmental organisation for Wales that would include the present services being delivered by the Countryside Council for Wales, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission. The road to get to this point hasn't been straightforward (I sit on CCW Council and know the effort that been expended by many officers from all three organisations) and will, I'm confident, lead to a stronger future.

Minister for Environment & Sustainability, John Griffiths said: "We know the natural environment is crucial to the Welsh economy and that modern life means pressure on our natural resources is constantly increasing. It is more important than ever our environment is managed as effectively and efficiently as possible to ensure the best outcomes for Wales...having carefully considered the business case, I am convinced the establishment of a single environmental body will ensure the most sustainable and effective management of Wales' natural resources."

Morgan Parry, chairman of the CCW, said the new body would provide a "great opportunity" for a more "joined-up approach" in managing Wales' environment in a sustainable way. EAW director Chris Mills and Jon Owen Jones, chair of FCW, also welcomed the announcement.

Following the minister's decision, a consultation on the role and functions of the new body will begin in January 2012, with the aim of it being fully functional from April 1, 2013.

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