The Institute of Environmental Studies (IES) was established in 1994 as an independent, non-faculty unit within the University of Zimbabwe, in response to national consensus about the ecological, social and economic consequences of environmental change. IES is tasked with providing three services:
The chief role of IES is facilitatory in that it is a front door to harnessing the wide range of resources available throughout the University of Zimbabwe. It operates by means of a series of highly decentralized partnerships with other University departments, universities in the developed and developing countries, government institutions and non-governmental organizations. The nature and duration of the partnerships are determined by the specific projects undertaken. Although the focus is on Zimbabwe, the Institute has a regional perspective.