Sustainable Development's role and mission is to sustainably manage and protect the province's environment and rich biodiversity of natural resources such as water, wildlife and forests by working cooperatively with the public, Indigenous communities, and other agencies, governments and stakeholders to strike a balance between protecting the integrity of the environment and meeting the social and economic needs of Manitobans.

The Department carries out its mission through:

  • development and administration of legislation and regulations pertaining to natural resources, the environment, water and pollution prevention;
  • monitoring and allocating sustainable natural resource use;
  • ensuring environmental protection by leading the review, assessment, approval, licensing and appeals processes for development activities;
  • managing and monitoring of environmental and water quality;
  • interfacing with other provinces and international jurisdictions to provide equitable sharing of transboundary waters;
  • administration of funding programs to support departmental and government priorities; and, respecting and upholding the honour of the Crown with respect to Treaty and Aboriginal rights.

The Department ensures compliance with legislation through education, voluntary action, negotiation, audit and enforcement. The Department contributes to the economic development and well-being of the province through managing commercial use of natural resources, providing recreational, land, water and resource based opportunities and supporting community initiatives through grant funding programs. The Department is responsible for ensuring sustainability of natural resources for all Manitobans, and for the continuance of Treaty and Aboriginal rights, upholding the honour of the Crown in regard to Treaty and Aboriginal rights, and providing for basic resource needs for subsistence users. The Department also protects people, property and resource values from wildfires and the adverse effects of other natural and human caused occurrences.