10 Things You Should Know About the PNCIMA Plan

1. The Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA) is one of five national Large Ocean Management Areas (LOMAs) identified in Canada’s 2005 Oceans Action Plan. PNCIMA encompasses approximately 102,000 km2 of marine area and occupies approximately two-thirds of the B.C. coast. The area’s boundary extends from the base of the continental shelf slope in the west to the coastal watershed in the east, and from the Canada-U.S. border of Alaska to Brooks Peninsula on northwest Vancouver Island and to Quadra Island in the south.

2. 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.

3. The development of the PNCIMA plan has been supported by a collaborative governance framework between federal, provincial, and First Nations governments. This proactive approach to governance was designed to support key principles of integrated management, including the recognition of existing authorities and jurisdictions of key parties as well as the need for enhanced communications and coordination between levels of government. Maintaining an ongoing, adaptive governance arrangement will support successful implementation of the PNCIMA plan.

4. The PNCIMA plan has also been informed by extensive input and advice from marine stakeholders, scientists, and the general public. The PNCIMA Integrated Oceans Advisory Committee (IOAC), a multi-sector advisory body, was a central component of the planning process and was essential in facilitating ongoing engagement with stakeholders as the process evolved. The IOAC consisted of participants from industry, regional districts, recreational groups, environmental non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties.

5. The completed PNCIMA plan is high level and strategic in nature, providing direction on and commitment to integrated, ecosystem-based and adaptive management of marine activities and resources in the planning area. The plan recognizes that there are many other marine-based planning processes underway at various scales both within and adjacent to PNCIMA. The intended role of the plan is to provide an overarching EBM framework that is available to guide planning and management at these other scales.

6. A central feature of the plan is an ecosystem-based management (EBM) framework that provides context and direction for ocean planning and management in the region. The EBM framework includes an interrelated set of assumptions, principles, goals, objectives and strategies to support a more holistic and integrated approach to ocean use in the planning area. The EBM framework contains a set of long-term, overarching goals for ecological integrity, human well-being, collaboration, governance, and improved understanding of the area.

7. The plan also provides an information base and a number of management tools that can be used by other parties to facilitate the application of EBM at a variety of scales in PNCMA.

8. The PNCIMA plan identifies five priorities for near-term implementation, to address PNCIMA EBM goals:
9. Plan implementation is the shared responsibility of all signatories to the planning process. Implementation is expected to result in greater certainty and stability in oceans management in the region; 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.

10. The PNCIMA plan is for planning purposes, and 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.