The protection of the environment of the State, management of the Crown Estate and the State's National Parks, Reserves and wildlife resources, maintain survey records, provide search facilities, conduct scientific studies, plan land use, advise on land use policy, preserve and protect sites of significance to the aboriginal and European heritage of Tasmania, provide a valuation and real estate advisory service and register land transactions.
The Department was created on 3 February 1993 by amalgamating the Department of Environment and Planning with the Department of Parks, Wildlife and Heritage. The Parks and Wildlife Service became a division within DELM. The new Department assumed administrative responsibility for the Local Government Office and the Cleaning Services Branch of the former Department of Construction. On 22 February 1995 the "Services to Government Group" became the administrative responsibility of DELM when the Department of Transport and Works was broken up. This responsibility passed to Treasury on 27 March 1996. The Local Government Office was transferred to the Department of Premier and Cabinet on the same day. These were replaced by the Office of Antarctic Affairs (from the Department of Tourism, Sport and Recreation).
On 18 September 1998, as part of a general reorganisation of the State Service following a change of government, DELM was amalgamated with the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries and the Government Analytical and Forensic Laboratory to form a new Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment.