What is the Purpose of the PNCIMA Initiative?

The PNCIMA initiative’s aim is to engage all interested and affected parties in the collaborative development and implementation of an integrated management plan to ensure a healthy, safe and prosperous ocean area.

The PNCIMA plan is high level and strategic, and provides direction on and commitment to integrated, ecosystem-based and adaptive management of marine activities and resources in the planning area. It is distinct from the detailed operational direction for management that will be provided in a work plan for its implementation. The plan focuses on the overall management of PNCIMA by considering ocean uses and the environment. This enables marine planning, management and decision-making to occur at appropriate spatial scales from regional to site-specific. It also promotes the consideration of the interactions among human activities, and between human activities and the ecosystem.

The plan presents an ecosystem-based management (EBM) framework that provides context and direction for ocean management. It contains a set of long-term, overarching goals for ecological integrity, human well-being, collaboration, integrated governance, and improved understanding of the area. These goals are supported by more specific objectives that express desired outcomes and conditions for PNCIMA. The goals and objectives provide the basis for defining management strategies and measuring progress on plan implementation. Above all, the ecosystem-based management framework seeks to ensure that relationships between ecosystem and human use objectives are recognized and reflected in future management decisions.

The EBM framework has been developed to be broadly applicable to managers, decision-makers, regulators, community members and resource users alike, as federal, provincial and First Nations governments, along with stakeholders, move together towards a more holistic and integrated approach to ocean use in the planning area.

Together, PNCIMA’s EBM framework, information base and decision support tools contribute to the foundation for integrated oceans management in the area, and will support and enable integrated management within other planning, regulatory, decision-making and stewardship processes.

Implementation of the plan is expected to result in greater certainty and stability in oceans management; better integration and coordination of new and existing management and planning processes; sustainable management of resources; and contributions to a national network of marine protected areas (MPAs). However, the plan does not establish a new regulatory framework, restrict existing legislative authorities, fetter ministerial discretion, or fetter or restrict authorities or decisions of the First Nations.