Monday, March 30, 2009

PNCIMA - One step closer to integrated management?

Last Thursday and Friday, individuals representing many communities along the British Columbia coast came together in Richmond for the first-ever Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area or PNCIMA forum. At this forum were representatives from Federal, Provincial, Municipal, and First Nations government. Also present were representatives from many other interests: including commercial and recreational fisheries, academia, renewable and nonrenewable energy, environmental organizations, transportation, and aquaculture.

Over the two days, we heard informative presentations and had many discussions about what integrated marine planning on our coast should entail. While there were limited opportunities for the public to be heard during the plenary sessions, I hope that the two small group break-out sessions allowed everyone the ability to ask questions, give comments, and provide feedback about the future direction of PNCIMA. There certainly was not consensus about the best way to move forward with PNCIMA, but no one in attendance seemed to debate the fact that integrated planning on our coast is necessary and overdue.
This first PNCIMA forum has certainly sparked a dialogue about marine planning on our coast; and I hope that planning for PNCIMA continues to gain momentum as time goes on. Personally, I would like to see the PNCIMA steering committee out in the communities in the upcoming weeks and months, disseminating the knowledge gained at the Forum and collaboratively charting the way forward with concrete action items and deliverables.

Did you participate in the PNCIMA Forum last week (either in person or via webcast)? What were your overall impressions? How do plan to be engaged in the management of our coast in the future?

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