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To all government spheres

Sector services

Within this area of work; the department seeks to facilitate environmental cooperative governance across all spheres of government and to provide geographically referenced environmental information for decision-making. This part of the department’s work includes:

  • Developing the State of the Environment Report (SOER) and appropriate indicators for the purpose of reporting on the state of the environment
  • Promoting the incorporation of environmental objectives into strategic planning instruments at national, provincial and local government level
  • Developing and maintaining the departmental research and development agenda to ensure informed and coherent policy-making, and
  • Facilitating the development and implementation of the National Greening Programme.


Environmental awareness

To promote environmental awareness and education, the department has prioritised a school-based environmental education programme, as well as a community-based environmental awareness programme.

International relations

  1. The department provides international negotiations and relations support to promote South Africa’s global sustainable development agenda, as well as mobilisation of bilateral and multilateral financial and technical resources in support of national, sub-regional [Southern African Development Community (SADC)] and regional [New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)] environmental projects. South Africa continues to play a leading role in the negotiations around sustainable development, chemicals management, climate change, biodiversity and related heritage issues.
  2. The Department of Environmental Affairs is the central coordinating and policy making authority in respect of environmental conservation in South Africa. In its capacity the department has been designated a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) management authority with the responsibility of coordinating the implementation of the convention internally and to act as channel of communication between the CITES Secretariat and other parties on the one hand, and the provincial management authorities and other bodies involved on the other.


On the governance front, the department and all its public entities continue to work towards:

  • Improved service delivery, and
  • Greater transparency and accountability to the South African public.


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