The Welsh Government has launched Natural Resources Wales, a new organisation that takes over the functions of the Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Agency Wales and Forestry Commission Wales. It is one of the first public bodies in the world that will consider social, environmental and economic benefits in the way it manages natural resources and improves the environment.
The new body’s aim is to make sure that the natural resources of Wales are sustainably maintained, enhanced and used. In its first year it will:
* Protect people and their homes as far as possible from environmental incidents like flooding and pollution;
* Maintain and improve the quality of the environment, including the promotion of nature conservation, access and recreation;
* Provide opportunities for people to learn, use and benefit from Wales’ natural resources;
* Support Wales’ economy by using natural resources to support jobs & enterprise;
* Help businesses understand and work with environmental, social and economic impacts when they bring forward proposals;
* Help make the environment and natural resources more resilient to climate change and other pressures.
Natural Resources Wales will provide a better service for people and businesses as they will now deal with one single body rather than three. It will be the largest sponsored public body in Wales.
“We face many challenges – for our communities, our economy and our environment. I believe that the natural resources we have in Wales can play their part in tackling them,” says Peter Matthews, Chairman of Natural Resources Wales. “The natural environment is worth £8 billion to the Welsh economy and as Natural Resources Wales, we want to build on this. We will focus on maintaining the important services that people and businesses rely on, like our flood warning services, maintaining timber supply and protecting valuable sites.”