Communicating Ecosystem-Based Management

#2 Marine Plan Partnership (MaPP) for the North Pacific Coast of British Columbia, Canada CASE STUDY


Communication strategy

Primary audiences: Local governments, industry sectors and the general public Location: Pacific waters of Canada, also known as the Northern Shelf Bioregion Objective: To develop and implement ecosystem-based marine plans for the waters of British Columbia. Message: The best available scientific data supported by traditional and local knowledge can inform plan development and the location, extent and type of spatial zoning. MaPP started developing a set of marine plans in 2011 to inform regional decisions on stewardship and sustainable economic development. In 2015, the partnership completed four subregional plans, followed by a regional action framework in 2016, which are all now being implemented. MaPP brought significant changes, including the involvement of industry stakeholders who at that time were not on an equal footing with First Nations. Navigating these changes effectively required extensive participation and input from local governments and industry sectors, including forestry, fishing, conservation and tourism. To reach these target audiences, a strategy for communications and outreach was built into MaPP from the outset.

Off the coast of the western Canadian province of British Columbia (BC), a partnership between the BC government and 17 indigenous First Nations governments has transformed the region’s ocean management. The Marine Plan Partnership (MaPP) for the North Pacific Coast applies ecosystem-based management principles that cut across agencies and sectors, rather than taking a traditional sectoral approach. In addition, the co-leaders have incorporated other stakeholders, such as those from industry sectors, local government and conservation. This shift to co-management reflects similar changes in BC land management, and greater collaboration in general between the BC government and First Nations governments.


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