"This merger will enable more effective implementation of environmental policies. The various environmental problems are inextricably intertwined, and efforts in areas such as climate change, air and water must all be seen in context. At present, tasks are largely organised on the basis of yesterday's environmental challenges. This reshuffle will improve Norway's environmental policy making it more efficient and coherent", says Minister of the Environment Bård Vegar Solhjell.
The Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif) is currently responsible for climate change mitigation, regulating emissions from industry, pollutants and waste. The Directorate for Nature Management (DN) is responsible for preserving the biodiversity of plants, animals and landscapes.
Many of these responsibilities are closely interlinked. Work to combat pollution is largely justified by the need to protect the natural environment and biodiversity. The climate has a decisive effect on nature. The merger of the Directorate for Nature Management and the Norwegian Climate and Pollution Agency will help ensure that environmental challenges are handled more coherently and efficiently.
The Ministry is very satisfied with the work of the two directorates to date, but there is a growing need for closer coordination. The new Directorate of the Environment will be a clearer, higher profile authority in an era with increasingly complex environmental challenges that are all interrelated. The new directorate will provide environmental interventions with greater impact, through joint management and better coordination," says Bård Vegar Solhjell.
The merger will simplify and improve the management dialogue between the Ministry and the Directorate and the communication out to the county governors and local authorities.
Following the merger, the new Directorate will have branches both in Trondheim and Oslo, and the staffing needs at both locations will correspond to the number of employees at Klif and DN today. The Directorate of the Environment's top-level management will be located in Trondheim.
"We have leading expert communities in both cities that we must not break up. If we had opted to move one of the directorates, we would have ended up with inferior competencies in one of the fields for many years to come. In light of the pressing environmental challenges facing us, we are therefore best served by continuing the world-class communities that we already have in Trondheim and Oslo," says Solhjell.
The Director of the new agency will be appointed at the first opportunity. Until the new Director is in place, the directors of the current directorates will work on making the necessary arrangements for the merger.