Department of Environmental Affairs - Republic of South Africa

The Purposes of the work of the Department of Environmental Affairs South Africa is to protect and improve the quality and safety of the environment to give effect to the right of all South Africans to an environment that is not harmful to health and wellbeing, to manage and protect South Africa’s oceans and coastal resources, to promote conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources to contribute to economic growth and poverty alleviation, as well as to create conditions for effective corporate and cooperative governance, international cooperation and implementation of expanded public works projects in the environment sectors.

The vision as well as the mission of the Department is a  prosperous and equitable society living in harmony with our environment and natural resources.

In terms of climate change policy the department facilitates an effective national mitigation and adaptation response to climate change. Their goal is environmental assets to be conserved, valued, sustainably used, protected and continually enhanced. Furthermore they aim at enhanced socioeconomic benefits and employment creation for the present and future generations from a healthy environment.

The functions of the climate change branch are:

to implement national legislation, policies, norms, standards and guidelines for enhanced adaptive capacity, resilience and reduced vulnerability to climate change impacts at national, provincial and local spheres of the government,to facilitate and support the development, review and alignment of all new and existing policies, legislation, regulations and action plans that have, or potentially have an impact on climate change mitigation as well as to effectively manage and facilitate South African preparation for and engagement in ongoing bilateral, mini-lateral and multilateral climate change negotiations and co-operation agreements.