Monitoring the state of Haida Gwaii allows us to understand trends in the ocean and our communities that can affect Haida culture and livelihoods. It is also a critical component of an Ecosystem-based Management (EBM) framework, enabling us to evaluate the outcomes of Haida Gwaii Marine Plan and adapt as necessary.

Ecosystem-based management is an adaptive approach to managing human activities that seeks to ensure the coexistence of healthy fully functioning ecosystems and human communities. In 2007, the Haida Marine Work Group defined EBM for Haida Gwaii marine planning as follows:

“Respect is the foundation of ecosystem-based management. It acknowledges that the land, sea, air and all living things, including the human community, are interconnected and that we have the responsibility to sustain and restore balance and harmony.”

This relatively new approach to management is an integral component of the CHN’s marine planning work.

An ecosystem-based management framework for Haida Gwaii marine planning

EBM indicators are things that we can measure in order to monitor the status of the marine environment. Indicators are an important component of EBM because they enable managers and decision-makers to track how effectively marine planning goals are being achieved, providing a basis for adjusting decisions or actions. This adaptive management approach increases plan effectiveness over time.

The adaptive management cycle

In March, 2016, the CHN, in partnership with the Province of BC, held a two day workshop to discuss the development of an EBM monitoring strategy for Haida Gwaii. The workshop brought together organizations and agencies to:

  • better understand the extent of current marine monitoring;
  • look at ways to collectively gather and share data;
  • inform the development of a monitoring strategy.

When completed, the Monitoring Strategy will set out priorities, timelines and responsibilities for monitoring EBM indicators. A comprehensive EBM monitoring report on the status of ecological and human well-being indicators will be published every 5 years.

For more information about EBM and EBM monitoring on Haida Gwaii, see Sections 2.2 and 9.3 of the Haida Gwaii Marine Plan.