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Mitigating Social, Economic, and Ecological Trade-offs Among Marine Activities in British Columbia’s Great Bear Sea

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    Dr. Natalie Ban University of Victoria

This research will evaluate key economic and ecological outcomes related to management zones proposed in the Central Coast Marine Plan.

Marine and coastal environments provide habitat for biodiversity as well as many benefits for people, such as fishing, recreation, and coastal protection. Without careful management, the growing number and intensity of human uses and activities on water and land can negatively affect ecosystem health and cause conflict between users.

This research evaluates key economic and ecological outcomes related to management zones proposed in the Central Coast Marine Plan. Partners include the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance (CCIRA), and the Natural Capital Project (NatCap). Elements of scenario planning are combined with ecological and economic modelling to quantify, map, and value ecosystem services linked with shellfish aquaculture, and trade-offs with other uses. The results of this work will be used to inform current and alternative marine planning in this region, as well as other applied ecology research and natural resources management. 

This project showcases the exciting but challenging transformations taking place in First Nations communities across Canada to regain management of natural resources. This includes a framework to guide future economic capacity-building in a context of social, cultural, and ecological resilience and sustainability. Community-academic partnerships developed through this research can help raise awareness of the capacity for mobilizing knowledge into management policy and practice, and serve as a model for community-engaged scholarship.

Partners:

  • The Heiltsuk Nation
  • The Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation
  • The Wuikinuxv Nation
  • The Nuxalk Nation
  • Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance
  • Natural Capital Project
  • Ministry of Forests, Land & Natural Resources - BC

The results of this work will inform current and alternative marine and coastal planning in this region, as well as other applied ecology research and natural resources management. It will inform dialogue between Indigenous, provincial, and federal governments, relevant to marine planning, conservation, and development on all three of Canada’s coasts.

Community-academic partnerships developed through this research will help raise awareness of the capacity for mobilizing knowledge into management policy and practice, and serve as a model for community-engaged scholarship.