Water Stewardship Information Sources

Citation Coast Information Team. 2004. The scientific basis of ecosystem-based management. BC Ministry of Forests.
Organization FLNRO
URL https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/tasb/slrp/citbc/c-ebm-scibas-fin-04May04.pdf
Abstract/Description or Keywords This document provides the rationale and scientific background to the Coast Information Team’s (CIT)
approach to ecosystem-based management (EBM) as presented in the Ecosystem-based Management
Handbook (EBM Handbook). It consists of two parts: a comprehensive summary of the ecological
theory and data that informed development of the EBM Handbook (the “compendium”), and; a
“compilation” of original sources of information prepared for the CIT or for coastal planning processes.
The compilation is available on the Internet (www.citbc.org). The compendium is available on the
Internet at this same website.
Together, the compendium and compilation provide
1. general theoretical background, and
2. rationales for specific ecological thresholds and guidelines given in the EBM Handbook.
The compendium has four sections:
• Section 1 defines EBM, identifying the maintenance of ecological integrity as a central focus.
• Section 2 defines ecological integrity and describes the components of ecological integrity in
coastal British Columbia.
• Section 3 provides an overview to the general concepts and approach used in the EBM Handbook
to maintain ecological integrity.
• Section 4 provides rationales for specific thresholds and guidelines identified in the EBM
There is an understanding that ecosystem-based management is as much about managing people as
it is about managing ecosystems (e.g., Szaro et al. 1998). However, the compendium was intended to
focus primarily on identifying technical information relating to maintaining ecological values. It does
not directly discuss the social science and process aspects of successful implementation of ecosystembased
management. These aspects however are being addressed by the CIT in other projects (e.g.,
Prescott-Allen 2004; CIT Institutional Analysis Project, in progress) and they will also be a key task for
the three land-use planning tables. In this document we provide the background science relating to
ecological recommendations made in the EBM Handbook, to assist tables with these decisions.
The compendium parallels, as much as possible, the EBM Handbook: Sections 1, 2, and 3 of the
compendium elaborate upon the concepts discussed in Section 2 of the EBM Handbook; Section 4 of
the compendium justifies the specific thresholds and guidelines provided in Sections 4, 5, and 6 of The
EBM Handbook.
Each sub-section refers to relevant portions of the EBM Handbook. These pieces of text are set in
boxes for quick reference. Throughout the document, concepts that are discussed in Section 3 are
printed in bold text.
Much of the rationale provided in this document and the application of concepts to the CIT regions is
based on the “best available information.” A strong scientific foundation requires large-scale
experiments repeated in different ecosystems: this foundation does not exist for the CIT region, or in fact for many ecosystems world-wide. In many cases, a limited number of relevant scientific studies
have been published for other geographic regions. These studies, combined with expert opinion and
consideration about how to apply results to the British Columbia coast, form the basis for the EBM
Much of the information in this Compendium is summarised from a series of in-depth background
reports. The intent is that questions about the background to the CIT's Ecosystem-based Management
Handbook can be answered briefly, within a manageable summary document. Specific questions can
then be directed to pertinent background reports that are available online (www.citbc.org).
Throughout this document, each sub-section includes a list of the relevant background reports that
provide more detailed information on the topic.
Information Type report
Regional Watershed Central Coast; Vancouver Island North; Haida Gwaii
Sub-watershed if known
Aquifer #
Project status complete
Contact Name
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