An Ecosystem Based Approach for PNCIMA

Defining Ecosystem Based Management

An ecosystem-based approach to management is a key foundation for the PNCIMA planning process. The following definition of ecosystem-based management (EBM) was developed by consensus among stakeholders, governments and First Nations who participated in the PNCIMA initiative:

“Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is an adaptive approach to managing human activities that seeks to ensure the coexistence of healthy, fully functioning ecosystems and human communities. The intent is to maintain those spatial and temporal characteristics of ecosystems such that component species and ecological processes can be sustained and human well-being supported and improved.”

An ecosystem-based approach to management seeks to balance ecological, economic and social goals and objectives toward sustainable development. It considers the entire ecosystem, including humans. The goal of EBM is to maintain an ecosystem in a healthy, productive and resilient condition so that it can provide the goods and services humans want and need.

Case Study: First Nations Culture, the Marine Environment and Ecosystem-Based Management

“An ecosystem-based management framework is an integrated set of principles, goals, objectives, and procedures that together seek to ensure the coexistence of healthy, fully functioning ecosystems and human communities.”²
(footnote: ² Coast Information Team (2004). Ecosystem Based Management Framework

The purpose of an EBM framework is to 1) identify key components and requirements of EBM and 2) to outline a strategic approach to EBM as a framework for developing and implementing a plan.

Through the PNCIMA initiative, government, First Nations, and marine stakeholders came together to define EBM for marine ecosystems. The result of this collaboration was an EBM framework that is the central feature of the PNCIMA plan. The figure below depicts the various components of the EBM framework for PNCIMA. The uppermost components (definition, assumptions and principles) provide broad guidance to the plan. Components that are in the middle of the framework (goals, objectives, strategies) are more specific statements that are based on an understanding of key issues and are identified through various analyses. The lower components of the diagram illustrate an adaptive management cycle in which strategies are adapted based on monitoring and evaluating the results of implementation.

Ecosystem Based Management Framework >

The PNCIMA 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.

Click here to learn more about the PNCIMA EBM framework

Case Study: Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site