An Ecosystem Based Approach for PNCIMA
Defining Ecosystem Based ManagementAn ecosystem-based approach to management (EBM) has been identified as a key foundation for the PNCIMA planning process. Ecosystem based management is an adaptive approach to management that seeks to balance ecological, economic, and social goals and objectives toward sustainable development. An ecosystem-based approach to management 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 need¹.
Key aspects of an EBM Approach to Management Include:
- Integration of ecological, social, and economic goals and recognition of humans as key components of the ecosystem.
- Consideration of ecological, not just political, boundaries.
- Accounting for the complexity of natural processes and social systems and using an adaptive management approach in the face of resulting uncertainties.
- Engaging multiple stakeholders in a collaborative process to define problems and find solutions.
- Incorporating understanding of ecosystem processes and how ecosystems respond to environmental pertubations.
- Consideration of ecological integrity of coastal-marine systems and the sustainability of both human and ecological systems.
For further information, please see www.ebmtools.com
The Ecosystem Based Management FrameworkThe purpose of an EBM framework is to 1) identify key components and requirements of EBM and 2) outline a strategic approach to EBM as a framework for developing and implementing a plan.
The figure below depicts the various components of the EBM framework for PNCIMA. The framework is designed as a set of nested components that relate to each other. The uppermost components of the framework (definition, assumptions and principles) provide broad guidance to the plan. Components that are in the middle of the framework (goals, objectives and 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.
|“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|
The Role of Goals and Objectives and Strategies in the Planning ProcessSetting goals and objectives is a critical component of any planning process, as they provide the necessary context and support required to manage the plan’s implementation. Understanding the difference between goals and objectives and how they work together is important.
Goals relate to the broad purpose and expected end result of the planning initiative, and typically apply to the whole plan area. They reflect broad ideals, aspirations or benefits pertaining to specific environmental, economic or social issues, and are the general ends towards which efforts are directed. Goals answer the question, “What must be accomplished to realize what we want?” They are achieved through objectives, strategies and actions.
Objectives also describe a desired future state, but are more specific and concrete than goals. They are the means of reaching the goals. They answer the question, “What steps are required to achieve the goal?”
Whereas objectives define “what” outcome is intended for particular resource values, strategies describe “how” the desired outcome will be achieved. They answer the question, “What specific measures or actions are required to achieve the goals and objectives?”, and are normally drafted to correspond directly to the objective they serve.
¹ Ehler, Charles and Fanny Douvere. Marine Spatial Planning: a step-by-step approach toward ecosystem-based management. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and Man and the Biosphere Programme. IOC Manual and Guides No.53, ICAM Dossier No.6. Paris: UNESCO. 2009
² Coast Information Team (2004). Ecosystem Based Management Framework
³ Foley, MM., Micheli, F., Armsby, MH., et al. (2010). Guiding ecological principles for marine spatial planning. Marine Policy, 34(5), 955-966.