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Cabinet approves plans to upgrade environment, agriculture agencies

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Cabinet approves plans to upgrade environment, agriculture agencies

Taipei, May 5 (CNA) The Cabinet on Thursday adopted proposals to upgrade the Council of Agriculture (COA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stand-alone ministries as part of a wider government restructuring program.

The plans, which will be sent to the Legislature for review, will see COA and EPA subsumed into the newly formed "Ministry of Agriculture" and the "Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources," respectively.

The government claimed that the proposed restructuring would enable it to better promote sustainable development and address climate issues.

Under the proposed Ministry of Agriculture, the COA's Forestry Bureau and the Forest Conservation and Management Administration under the Veterans Affairs Council will be merged into a single agency responsible for handling Taiwan's forestry and nature conservation.

After the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is formed, three new agencies will be established under it to handle climate change, resource recycling, and environmental management.

The new agencies will implement government plans and policies aimed at tackling climate change, such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, Su Chun-jung (蘇俊榮), head of the Cabinet's Directorate-General of Personnel Administration (DGPA), told a press conference Thursday.

The proposals are in line with the amendments to the Organizational Act of the Executive Yuan passed by the Legislature in 2011, according to the Cabinet.

The amendments seek to ultimately have 37 ministries and government agencies currently under the Cabinet merged or restructured into 29 ministries and agencies.

The Cabinet will continue pushing for the reorganization of Cabinet-affiliated agencies according to the law while making adjustments based on the nation's development needs, Su said.

The plans approved by the Cabinet on Thursday also cover the restructuring of agencies under different ministries.

According to the plans, a business development agency will be established under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The formation of the agency was prompted by the growing demand for the government to help foster the development of new types of businesses, according to DGPA senior official Huang Ching-hua (黃靜華).

In addition, the Industrial Development Bureau will be restructured as the "Industrial Development Agency," Huang said, adding that the change would allow it to strengthen policy planning.

In a similar vein, the Tourism Bureau will become the "Tourism Agency" and the Central Weather Bureau will be redesignated as the "Central Weather Agency," she added.

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