Ministry of Environment
The Ministry of Environment delivers it’s programs and services through seven divisions. In addition, environmental assessments of proposed major projects in British Columbia are co-ordinated through the Environmental Assessment Office.
Environmental Protection Division
The Environmental Protection Division works to prevent pollution, and promote and restore environmental quality.
The division delivers programs and services through four branches:
- Environmental Standards Branch – develops legislation and policies to protect air quality and to address municipal liquid and solid waste. The branch leads the development and management of industry product stewardship programs; sets standards for, and does monitoring and reporting for, ambient air and water (surface and ground water) quality; and is a co-leader within the B.C. government in developing and implementing measures to address global climate change.
- Environmental Management Branch – responsible for a wide array of environmental management regulatory programs, including: hazardous and industrial waste management; waste and environmental database management; environmental emergency response and spill reporting; integrated pest management initiatives; and land remediation (contaminated site) management and certification.
- Regional Operations Branch – includes nine regional offices whose staff are on the front line in delivering the Environmental Protection Division's programs and policies, supported by the other two branches. Regional Operations ensures safe discharges to water, land and air through authorizations and under voluntary arrangements with others.
Environmental Sustainability and Strategic Policy Division
The Environmental Sustainability and Strategic Policy Division has a mission to maintain and restore the natural diversity of provincial ecosystems and fish and wildlife species and their habitat; to provide fish and wildlife recreation services and opportunities to British Columbians and visitors; and to provide overall leadership of provincial government strategies and initiatives related to ocean resources and marine fisheries.
The division delivers the following programs and services:
- Ecosystems Branch – responsible for biodiversity science, standards and policy for the Ministry, and is responsible for the preparation of a biodiversity strategy for British Columbia.
- Strategic Policy Branch – provides corporate leadership, coordination, analysis and inter-agency communications services to the Ministry of Environment.
- Compliance Policy and Planning – provides ministry-wide leadership and service in support of a strategic approach to compliance management.
Parks and Protected Areas (BC Parks)
- The Parks and Protected Areas Division sets provincial direction, priorities and policies for the province's protected areas system. The division develops legislation, regulations and protected area management plans, leads conservation programs within all protected areas, and manages the delivery of recreational services and opportunities within protected lands.
Climate Action Secretariat
The scientific evidence for global warming and climate change is now overwhelming, and so is the urgent need for action. The changes already set in motion in the earth’s atmosphere will affect every one of us, and the longer we wait before taking action, the higher the economic, environmental and social costs will be.
The Climate Action Secretariat (CAS) drives change to achieve British Columbia’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets by coordinating climate action activities across Government and with stakeholders. It supports the Minister of State for Climate Action and the Cabinet Committee for Climate Action and Green Energy.
CAS supports municipal and regional efforts to achieve carbon neutrality, leads international, national and regional initiatives to promote trans-boundary approaches to climate action and works with industry to promote low carbon business opportunities.
In addition to working to reduce GHGs, CAS is helping British Columbia prepare for and adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. The secretariat works directly with provincial ministries and agencies to help them consider climate change as they protect the health and safety of residents, maintain public infrastructure, manage natural resources and achieve environmental, social and economic sustainability.
To be most effective in its work, CAS works with environmental organizations and the scientific community to promote a better understanding of climate change.
In order to engage British Columbians, CAS provides information and resources through LiveSmart BC to inform dialogue as the province moves toward a shared vision of opportunity and action in our communities, businesses and homes.
Conservation Officer Service
- The Conservation Officer Service is the enforcement program of the Ministry of Environment. It is also the lead program for managing and responding to wildlife/human conflicts where there is a risk to public safety.