The Department works to protect and enhance the Island’s natural assets within the core principles of environmental, economic and social sustainability; whilst optimising quality of life, international reputation, food production energy security and outdoor amenity.
DEFA works in partnership with all sectors of the Manx Community to protect and enhance the essentials of life – food, air, land and water and to minimise the impact of work activities and food borne and infectious disease on the people who live, work and visit our Island. It has policy responsibility for animal health and welfare, environmental protection, food, farming and fisheries.
The Department has the following functions:
- to support, and work in partnership with, the Island's agricultural and aquacultural industries in order to facilitate a reliable, sustainable and self-reliant Manx food chain that can both maintain and increase international and on-Island trade and create new trading relationships;
- to manage and develop support schemes for the agricultural industry and offer technical advice, training, education and non-commercial services to assist Manx agriculture to evolve in both a sustainable and profitable manner
- to promote policies and actions to ensure we have a secure and sustainable future. In particular we will look at the challenges we all face as a result of climate change;
- to provide advisory, monitoring and regulatory functions which ensure our food is fit for human consumption, the public is not exposed to agents that adversely affect our health and no significant pollutants are allowed to be discharged into our water, land or air;
- to manage and protect fisheries and their supporting ecosystems within the Island and its Territorial Sea by working with the Manx fishing industry, anglers, wildlife groups and other stakeholders to develop innovative and dynamic management and marketing measures that seek to balance the social, environmental and economic needs of the Island and meet our international obligations;
- to sensitively manage and encourage recreational and commercial activity across the estate for the benefit of the public whilst ensuring that the plantations, National Glens, the Curraghs and hill land are not detrimentally affected;.
- to monitor and protect tree health as far as possible and maintain the woodland environment and character of the countryside by rigorously enforcing Tree Preservation legislation as regards private felling and arboricultural operations;
- to work to ensure that the valuable resources of wild animals and natural habitats are properly managed and effectively conserved for future generations;
- to provide scientific support to all areas of Government, primarily in the form of an analytical and testing service.