The body will officially replace Environment Agency Wales, the Countryside Council for Wales and the Forestry Commission for Wales and will take on full responsibility for managing Wales’ natural resources from 1 April 2013.
The new Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies, led a debate in Plenary and commended a draft Order that would allow Natural Resources Wales to gain the full legal powers it needs. Following the debate, Assembly Members voted to pass the order.
The Minister said:
“The passing of this order is the culmination of a great deal of time, effort and hard work and means that Natural Resources Wales now has all the legal powers it needs to hit the ground running.
“The order will enable Natural Resources Wales to take important decisions that affect Wales’ environment and economy, whilst also ensuring it remains accountable to Welsh Ministers.
“We know that the creation of Natural Resources Wales enjoys broad support from partners and from the staff of the bodies themselves. I now look forward to the launch of Natural Resources Wales and to the important work the body will do in delivering the best combination of environmental, social and economic benefits for Wales.”
Emyr Roberts, Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales said:
“This is the final piece of legislation Natural Resources Wales will need to start its work on 1 April. We look forward to building on the achievements of the previous bodies and develop innovative solutions to the challenges facing the people, the economy and environment in Wales.”