EBM Assumptions and Principles
- Ecosystem goods and services underlie and support human societies and economies; such goods and services can be direct or indirect.
- Humans and their communities are part of ecosystems, and they derive social, cultural and economic value from marine ecosystem goods and services.
- Human activities have many direct and indirect effects on marine ecosystems.
- EBM informs the management of human activities.
- Marine ecosystems exist on multiple spatial and temporal scales, and are interconnected.
- Marine ecosystems are dynamic and subject to ongoing and sometimes unpredictable change.
- Marine ecosystem states have limits to their capacity to absorb and recover from impacts.
- Human understanding of marine ecosystems is limited.
- Humans prefer some ecosystem states more than others.
- Humans can manage some drivers of change better than others, and can adjust or respond to some changes better at the scale of PNCIMA planning.
- The EBM approach seeks to ensure ecological integrity. It seeks to sustain biological richness and services provided by natural ecosystems, at all scales through time. Within an EBM approach, human activities respect biological thresholds, historical levels of native biodiversity are met, and ecosystems are more resilient to stresses and change over the long term.
- The EBM approach includes human well-being. It accounts for social and economic values and drivers, assesses risks and opportunities for communities, and enables and facilitates local involvement in sustainable community economic development. An EBM approach aims to stimulate the social and economic health of the communities that depend on and are part of marine ecosystems, and it aims to sustain cultures, communities and economies over the long term within the context of healthy ecosystems.
- The EBM approach is precautionary. It errs on the side of caution in its approach to management of human activity and places the burden of proof on the activity to confirm that management is meeting designated objectives and targets. Uncertainty is recognized and accounted for in the EBM approach.
- The EBM approach is adaptive and responsive in its approach to the management of human activities. It includes mechanisms for assessing the effectiveness of management measures and changing such measures as necessary to fit local conditions.
- The EBM approach includes the assessment of cumulative effects of human activities on an entire ecosystem, not just components of the ecosystem or single sector activity.
- The EBM approach is equitable, collaborative, inclusive and participatory. It seeks to be fair, flexible and transparent, and strives for meaningful inclusion of all groups in an integrated and participatory process. EBM is respectful of federal, provincial, First Nations and local government governance and authorities, and recognizes the value of shared responsibility and shared accountability. It acknowledges cultural and economic connections of local communities to marine ecosystems.
- The EBM approach respects Aboriginal rights, Aboriginal titles and treaty rights, and supports working with First Nations to achieve mutually acceptable resource planning, stewardship and management.
- The EBM approach is area-based. Management measures are amenable to the area in which they are applied; they are implemented at the temporal or spatial scales required to address the issue and according to ecological rather than political boundaries.
- The EBM approach is integrated. Management decisions are informed by consideration of interrelationships, information, trends, plans, policies and programs, as well as local, regional, national or global objectives and drivers. The EBM approach recognizes that human activities occur within the context of nested and interconnected social and ecological systems. As such, EBM concurrently manages human activities based on their interactions with social-ecological systems. The approach helps to direct implementation of measures across sectors to integrate with existing and, where agreed, new management and regulatory processes.
- The EBM approach is based on science and on wise counsel. It aims to integrate the best available scientific knowledge and information with traditional, intergenerational and local knowledge of ecological and social systems and adapt it as required.