Integrated Oceans Management

Integrated Management in PNCIMA

As in other parts of the world, the PNCIMA marine environment faces challenges. The combination of an increase in ocean use and a decline in ocean health has made managers and decision makers re-examine how we use our ocean space and resources and how we manage our ocean activities. The current ocean management system deals with each industry, activity and conservation initiative largely independently as though they don’t affect one another. But they do. As the health of our oceans, coastal communities and ocean economies declines, it becomes more and more apparent that the way we currently manage the ocean isn’t adequately taking care of the “whole”.

These challenges, as well as important opportunities, have been identified as driving the need for an integrated management plan in PNCIMA. The proactive planning process developed as part of the PNCIMA initiative helps us to:
  • forecast and address future developments and needs
  • establish goals and strategies to adapt to change
  • coordinate new and existing processes
  • reduce cumulative impacts
  • provide greater certainty and stability in planning for new investments
  • reduce conflicts between uses and user groups.

With its rich and globally significant environment, British Columbians have the opportunity to show international leadership in creating sustainable oceans management for current and future generations.

What is marine planning?
What is integrated management?
Global integrated management

What is marine planning?

Marine planning is a tool that brings together multiple users of the ocean – including energy, industry, governments (First Nations, federal, provincial, regional and municipal), conservation and recreation – to make informed and coordinated decisions about how to use marine resources.

What is Integrated Management?

Integrated management is a commitment to planning and managing human activities in a comprehensive manner while considering all factors necessary for the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources and the shared use of ocean spaces.

Integrated management is an open, collaborative and transparent process that seeks to minimize conflict among users. It is premised on an ecosystem approach and founded on sound science. It seeks to minimize conflict among users and respects existing divisions of constitutional and departmental authority. Integrated management does not abrogate or derogate from any existing Aboriginal rights or treaty rights.

Benefits of integrated management planning include:
  • reducing cumulative effects of human uses on marine and coastal environments;
  • providing increased certainty for the public and private sector regarding existing and new
  • investments; and
  • reducing conflict between uses

Additional benefits include:
  • integration of data collection and synthesis, monitoring, research, information sharing, communication and education;
  • development of inclusive and collaborative oceans governance structures and processes;
  • application of flexible and adaptive management techniques to deal with uncertainty and improvements in the understanding of marine species and ecosystems; and
  • planning on the basis of natural and economic systems together rather than principally on political or administrative boundaries

An important principle that guides integrated management planning is the need to identify ecosystem-based management (EBM) objectives and reference levels to guide the development and implementation of management to achieve sustainable development.

Global Integrated Management

In the last century, the ocean has been a new frontier for food sources, transportation, recreation, minerals, energy resources and biotechnology. This trend is expected to continue: growing human populations translate to advances in technology, international movement of products, coastal development and recreation, food production and energy from oceans.

However, development has had its costs. The health of oceans throughout the world is declining along with their ability to produce food, protect against storms, process waste and provide other services that are critical to humans and other life forms.

The combination of an increase in ocean use and a decline in ocean health has led to greater interest in sustainable ocean management. Planning for more integrated management of oceans is a pragmatic approach to address these challenges and support opportunities presented by collaboration among ocean users.

Integrated management planning is being implemented at multiple scales by countries and coastal areas in Europe, Australia, Asia and North America. It is informed by international, national and coastal scale processes and sector-based planning initiatives that direct the management of activities.