Welsh government progresses plan to merge Forestry Commission for Wales with two environment bodies to save £158M over 10 years; chair of yet-to-be-named natural resources agency appoints chief executive

Wendy Lisney

Wendy Lisney

Oct 8, 2012 – Welsh Government

CARDIFF, UK , October 8, 2012 (press release) – Professor Peter Matthews, chair of the Welsh Government’s new body for managing natural resources in Wales, has announced the appointment of Dr Emyr Roberts as the body’s chief executive. The appointment will take effect from 1 November.

After a career with the National Farmers’ Union, Emyr joined the Welsh Office in 1991 and was promoted to the senior civil service in 1997. Since then he has held a number of posts within the Welsh Government. Emyr is currently Director General of Education and Skills.

Prof Peter Matthews said:

“The interview panel was greatly impressed by the high calibre of applicants for this post and I am delighted to announce Emyr’s appointment. He brings a wealth of experience and skills to this important position. We have an exciting few months ahead of us as we establish the new body and launch it on 1 April 2013.”

Commenting on the appointment of Dr Roberts, the Environment Minister, John Griffiths said:

“I look forward to working with Emyr and Peter as they progress our exciting plans to establish a single body to manage Wales’ natural resources. The natural environment is crucial to the Welsh economy and it is vital it is managed as effectively and efficiently as possible to ensure the best outcomes for Wales and its people.”

Speaking about his appointment, Emyr said:

“I am delighted and privileged to be working for this new organisation, helping to manage Wales’ natural resources. My priority will be for us to ensure that the environment and natural resources of Wales are sustainably maintained, enhanced and used.”

It is a key Programme for Government action for the Welsh Government to bring together the Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Agency Wales and Forestry Commission for Wales as one organisation. The single body will become fully operational on 1 April 2013.

One single body will ensure the most sustainable and effective management of Wales’ natural resources. The transition from three environment bodies to one is estimated to result in benefits worth £158m over a ten year period allowing greater investment in frontline delivery of services.

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