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.
The Environmental Protection Division works to prevent pollution, and promote and restore environmental quality.
The division delivers programs and services through four branches:
- Environmental Quality 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.
The Environmental Stewardship 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 programs and services through four branches and the Species at Risk Coordination Office (SaRCO):
- 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.
- Fish and Wildlife Branch – establishes legislation, policies and procedures for managing fishing and hunting activities, and for the allocation of fish and wildlife resources for recreational and commercial use. The branch manages the provincial fish culture and stocking programs to support recreational fishing and endangered species recovery.
Oceans and Marine Fisheries Branch
The Oceans and Marine Fisheries Branch is responsible for the overall leadership of provincial government strategies and initiatives related to ocean resources and marine fisheries, as well as seafood industry development.
- Regional Operations Branch – includes nine regional offices. Regional staff are responsible for the on-the-ground delivery of the division's programs across the province, supported by Victoria headquarters.
- Species at Risk Coordination Office (SaRCO) – provides recommendations on how the province addresses species at risk issues and coordinates and accelerates recovery planning for three broad-ranging species; Marbled Murrelet, Mountain Caribou, and Spotted Owl. SaRCO collaborates across government ministries and with various stakeholders to coordinate these species. See also Conservation Framework.
The Compliance Division provides ministry-wide leadership and services in support of compliance management.
It does this work through two branches:
Conservation Officer Service
– 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.
- Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) – (Conservation Officer Service 24-hour Hotline) - toll free tip-line and web-based service that allows the public to report known or suspected violations of fisheries, wildlife, or environmental protection laws.
- Compliance Policy and Planning Branch – provides ministry-wide leadership and service in support of a strategic approach to compliance management.
The Water Stewardship Division manages provincial water resources through activities such as: administering water rights and legislation; developing legislation and non-regulatory tools, and participating in sustainable water resource planning and management; carrying out public safety functions to minimize risk from floods, droughts and dam failures; and developing and delivering science and information critical to understanding and making informed decisions about B.C.'s water resources.
The division consists of four branches:
- Innovation and Planning Team – develops plans, policies, legislation and partnerships to foster water stewardship in B.C.
- Science and Information Branch – provides information, research and knowledge about B.C.'s water resources.
- Management and Standards Branch – administers statutory responsibilities for water rights and public safety.
- Regional Operations Branch – delivers Water Stewardship Division program activities and services to clients throughout the province.
The Strategic Policy Division provides corporate leadership, coordination, analysis and inter-agency communications services to the Ministry of Environment.
The Corporate Services Division is responsible for the provision of financial, infrastructure, human resource and information management services to the Ministry of Environment.
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.