Speaking at an event to mark the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Non-Alignment Movement in Serbia, Nkoana-Mashabane said developed nations also needed to realise that adaptation needs for developing countries depend on emission reduction ambition of all parties.
South Africa is this year's host to the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the country hopes to follow on the relative progress made at last year's negotiations in Cancun, Mexico.
The conference in Durban takes place at a time when the expiry in 2012 of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which bound nearly 40 countries to specific emission reduction targets, looms.
Decisions on the future of the treaty were deferred until the Durban summit. It remains to be seen whether countries will sign up for a second commitment period to cut emissions beyond 2012.
But the minister said agreement on the balance between the 2nd Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol and a comparable emission reduction regime for non-Kyoto Parties, was central to the outcome of the Durban Conference.
South Africa had every intention to utilise all opportunities to advance the COP17 process to ensure that Durban was a success, she said.
"We are humbled by the support we continue to receive from parties and international organisations as we move towards Durban. This, to us, is a demonstration of our collective commitment to save this planet that has been loaned to us by our forbearers for safe-keeping for future generations."