Canada-British Columbia Marine Protected Area Network Strategy
The governments of Canada and British Columbia are pleased to present the Canada – British Columbia Marine Protected Area Network Strategy. This Strategy is a vital part of our commitment to build a legacy of marine protected area (MPA) networks that will safeguard communities and complement more traditional management tools, making it more likely that future generations will inherit the beauty and productivity of our Pacific Ocean.
National Framework for Canada’s Network of Marine Protected Areas
The National Framework for Canada’s Network of Marine Protected Areas (National Framework) provides strategic direction for the design of a national network of marine protected areas (MPAs) that will be composed of a number of bioregional networks. This is an important step towards meeting Canada’s domestic and international commitments to establish a national network of marine protected areas by 2012.
First Nations knowledge is a term used to describe a body of knowledge held by First Nation people about their cultural and physical landscapes, and that has been passed from one generation to the next through oral or written traditions.
Similar concepts are also alternatively described by the terms traditional knowledge, traditional ecological (or environmental) knowledge (TEK), indigenous knowledge, or local knowledge.
First Nations have used marine resources for a wide variety of purposes for thousands of years. Traditional activities include the management, harvesting (including seasonal and rotational harvest), preparation, consumption and exchange of marine resources, which occur year-round. First Nations advise that their marine governance and resource management systems include such things as harvest technologies, spatial and social restrictions, seasonal avoidance, selective harvesting, stock management and transplantation, and habitat management and enhancement, and that these systems controlled harvest levels and allowed for the sustainable use of a broad variety of marine resources for millennia. In addition, First Nations knowledge of natural features, animal behaviour and ocean conditions is often used, and it is an important source of information for documenting changes in marine environments over time. As environmental conditions, marine populations and human pressures on resources shift and change, the adaptive and timeless knowledge held by First Nations becomes perhaps even more critical.
While extensive oceanographic and ecological mapping exists for many areas on the Pacific coast, there is less information – mapped or written – that captures the detailed and intergenerational knowledge of First Nations. Some information does exist in historical accounts; however, these accounts are far from complete and provide only a glimpse into the extensive and varied reliance of First Nations on marine resources. First Nations participation in the MPA Network planning process ensures that this knowledge is included in network design and implementation.