For ecosystem-based management (EBM) to be successful, science is needed to understand the natural system, social system, and governance system - as well as how each one interacts with the others. EBM, at its core, is policy based on scientific evidence and knowledge. The more robust the evidence and knowledge, the more robust the policy can be.
Your August/September 2010 issue provides an excellent summary of the appropriate use of science in planning and management. It might surprise you that we used the methodologies so well described by Leanne Fernandes and Tundi Agardy in the original planning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Those same methodologies are also outlined in IUCN's Guidelines for Marine Protected Areas.
By Tundi Agardy, MEAM Contributing Editor (tundiagardy [at] earthlink.net)
Of all the principles that serve as the foundation for EBM, the precautionary approach may be the most inherently problematic. It presents several paradoxes:
In July, President Obama signed an executive order establishing a national ocean policy for the US (www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/oceans). The policy launches a process of coastal and marine spatial planning for the nation, carried out on a phased basis across nine regions (MEAM 4:1).
Editor's note: Jeff Ardron, author of the following essay, is director of the High Seas Program at MCBI (Marine Conservation Biology Institute) in the US. He is also president of the board for PacMARA (Pacific Marine Analysis and Research Association) and an active member of the science board for the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI).
Disclaimer: the views expressed in this article are those of the author alone, and do not reflect upon any bodies with which he may be associated.
New Canadian foreign policy on Arctic includes EBM
The Canadian government has announced a new Arctic foreign policy to guide how the country works with its regional neighbors. The strategy, consisting of four pillars (exercising Arctic sovereignty, protecting environmental heritage, promoting socioeconomic development, and improving Northern governance), is designed to foster a stable region with dynamic growth and healthy ecosystems.
Marine Ecosystems and Global Change
Edited by Manuel Barange, John Field, Roger Harris, Eileen Hofmann, Ian Perry, and Francisco Werner. 2010, Oxford University Press, 464 pages. US $150 at www.oup.com
Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of tools for facilitating EBM processes. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network, a voluntary alliance of tool users, developers, and training providers.
By Sarah Carr
An indigenous population is an ethnic group whose ancestors inhabited a place before another, eventually dominant culture arrived. By definition, indigenous peoples are distinct from the prevailing culture that surrounds them.
Editor's note: Miwa Tamanaha is executive director of KAHEA, an alliance of Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners and environmental advocates concerned with protecting Hawai'i's environment, resources, and people. KAHEA and other local and national conservation organizations worked for years to gain protection of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, culminating in the designation by former US President George W. Bush of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in 2006 (MPA News 8:1).