The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (MEPRD) was established in summer 1993 when after the 5th Parliamentary elections new state administration structure was introduced. The Ministry was the successor of the Environmental Protection Committee. Problems regarding regional planning and development hadn’t been dealt with so far. In the process of the improvement of the state administration structure, the Ministry incorporated a number of other institutions with the specific functions.
At the time, when the new Ministry was created, it took over the following functions of the eliminated Ministry of Architecture and Construction: construction, housing facilities and public utilities, geology and tourism. Functions regarding local municipalities were taken over from the bygone Ministry of State Reform.
Since 1996 the Latvian Hydrometeorological Agency, according to its particularity, became the supervised institution of the Ministry (previously being a part of the Ministry of Transport).
In 1999 the Latvian Nature Museum became one of the supervised institutions of the Ministry. Since July 1, 2000 the Ministry supervises Gauja National Park.
In order to fulfill Latvia’s incorporation in the network of the European Environmental Agencies and to consolidate the environmental institutions that fulfill similar functions, the Latvian Environmental Agency was established on October 1, 2000, merging the Latvian Centre of Environmental Data and the Centre of Environmental Consultations and Monitoring.
In July 2001 the Radiation Safety Centre was established, that combined radiation and nuclear safety-related functions.
In February 2003 the Environmental Advisory Council was established – it is a consultative and coordinating institution that adopts advisory decisions in the fields of environmental protection and sustainable development. The members of the Environmental Advisory Council are delegated by the public environmental organizations, professional associations, local municipalities, as well as educational and science institutions.
In March 2003, handing the functions of regional development, construction and tourism over to other Ministries of the Republic of Latvia, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development became the Ministry of the Environment with the main functions – environmental protection, nature protection and environmental investments.
On the first January 2005 number of subordinate institutions were reorganised and started their work under new names – combining the Latvian Hydrometeorological Agency, Latvian Environment Agency and the State Geological Survey the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Agency (LEGMA) was created; combining the State Environmental Inspectorate, the Marine Environment Administration and 8 Regional Environmental Boards State Environmental Service (SES) was established. Hazardous Waste Management State Agency (BAPA) was established stating the new functions associated with the national hazardous waste management infrastructure maintenance, for the earlier subordinate to the Ministry of Environment Radioactive Waste Management Agency. Meanwhile the title of the Environmental Impact Assessment State Bureau was changed to the State Environment Bureau (ESB).
In 2006 the State Agency "National Botanic Gardens" became the supervised institution of the Ministry of the Environment.
On 22nd February 2007 as a new subordinate institution Razna National Park Administration was created. From the first of July 2007 Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology became one of the subordinated institutions.
During 2009, in the whole system of the Ministry of Environment significant institutional changes were made. With 1st of June, Nature Conservation Bureau started their work, which merged the former state agencies of Ministry of Environment - Nature Protection Board, Raznas National Park Administration, Kemeri National Park Administration, Gauja National Park Administration, Slitere National Park Administration, the North Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve Administration, and Teici Nature Reserve Administration. From 01.08.2009 new state Ltd. "Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre”, which was made merging Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Agency, reorganizing and combining the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Agency and the State Hazardous Waste Management Agency. State Environmental Service reorganization was mage, adding to it the Radiation Safety Centre.
On the first January 2011, merging together the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Regional Development and Local Government, Ministry regained its ancient name, and again is the Environmental Protection and Regional Development. Thus with the establishment of new ministry, the State Regional Development Agency become a subordinate institution of it.
At the moment there are seventeen departments in the structure of the Ministry of the Environmental Protection and Regional Development. The Ministry is managed by the Minister of the Environmental Protection and Regional Development. Chief state civil servant in the Ministry is a State Secretary.