The Implementation Agreement for the North Coast sub-region was announced on August 3, 2016.
- Implementation agreements confirm the partners’ approach to implementation of the marine plans in each sub-region and are consistent with the recommendations contained in each sub-regional marine plan.
- Implementation agreements are the formal agreements between the Province and partner First Nations that outline the intent to collaborate on marine plan implementation, organizational structures, and general provisions on how governments will work together.
Download the North Coast Implementation Agreement.
Plan Implementation and Monitoring
While all of the objectives and strategies identified in the plan are important elements of an integrated EBM approach for North Coast waters, priority outcomes have been identified for near-term implementation (Chapter 6 of the plan should be consulted for full details on near-term implementation priority outcomes and associated actions.)
The key outcomes by topic area are:
- Meaningful government-to-government partnerships are established.
- Collaborative marine governance and implementation structures are developed.
- First Nations governance, management, and enhancement of resources are supported.
- Capacity is enhanced for resource protection and management.
Collaboration and Consultation
- Collaboration is formalized, information is shared, and actions are co-ordinated.
- Consultation processes are co-ordinated, efficient and thorough.
- Cumulative effects are understood and data needs identified.
- Cumulative effects are managed and mitigated, and resource values are sustained.
- Important ecological and cultural values are identified for protective management.
- Heritage resources, cultural practices and archaeological sites are protected.
- The adverse effects of climate change are anticipated and adaptive capacity is strengthened.
- Opportunities for sustainable economic development are identified and supported through an EBM framework.
The goal is to implement all strategies over the longer term (five years and beyond), as funding and other resources permit. Ongoing communication and collaboration will be essential as work is advanced on all plan strategies.
It is anticipated that a comprehensive evaluation of the plan will be conducted collaboratively every five years, and will consider emerging management needs and priorities, and results from annual reports. EBM indicators will be used to track changes in the state of the North Coast ecological and human well-being systems over time.
The North Coast Marine Plan is intended to be a living document that will be updated over time to remain relevant as issues, priorities and conditions change. This adaptive approach will allow for improved management and responsible stewardship over both the short and long term.
Implementation Progress, 2016-2017
The institutional structures required to implement many aspects of the North Coast Marine Plan were formalized, confirming how partners will collaborate through the implementation phase and how community and stakeholder engagement processes will be maintained. A North Coast Marine Plan Advisory Committee to support marine plan implementation was established, and the first meeting held in March 2017.
The development of policy and tools to assess the cumulative effects of projects on marine values is an area of focus for the North Coast. Significant, positive progress was made to establish formal governance arrangements that support implementation of cumulative effects objectives and strategies, and that improve collaboration and co-ordination between related initiatives. This included establishment of a Cumulative Effects First Nations Technical Table to support discussions of issues and opportunities in the North Coast. Cumulative effects value identification and selection progressed in 2016-2017. Selecting values is an important early step towards assessing cumulative effects.
Nations began the important task of compiling Aboriginal knowledge about sensitive or critical species and habitats. This information will inform the development of management plans for the North Coast protection management zones. The management plans will also include more detailed descriptions of marine values and recommendations for management action to achieve site objectives.
For details about progress on marine plan implementation activities, see the North Coast Annual Report 2017.
Implementation Progress, 2017-2018
Significant progress continues towards strengthening collaborative oceans governance that supports consistent and co-ordinated decision-making on delivery of the North Coast work plan.
- A First Nations Technical Marine Planning and Resource Management Table enables Nation-to-Nation dialogue and collaboration on marine plan implementation and provides important links back to communities.
- The Cumulative Effects Technical Team enables Nation-to-Nation and Government-to-Government collaboration and leadership in the implementation of the MaPP cumulative effects framework through the MaPP North Coast Cumulative Effects Initiative and the Environmental Stewardship Initiative (ESI) North Coast Cumulative Effects Project.
- A tripartite Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network Technical Team works to collaboratively advance technical work to develop a network of marine protected areas for the Northern Shelf Bioregion.
- The North Coast Marine Plan Advisory Committee, consisting of members representing a broad range of marine uses, activities and interests, continues to be an integral part of North Coast MaPP implementation.
The North Coast continues to be successful with local community programs designed at improving opportunities for cultural education and providing support for community food security – opportunities and support that are important for the health and well-being of First Nations communities. Funding was made available through several streams, such as local programs designed by First Nations to empower youth and strengthen their connections to the natural world. For example, Kitsumkalum First Nation accessed MaPP funding to support the Na Aksa Gyilak’yoo School Youth Cultural Revitalization Program. The project seeks to strengthen the identity of K-12 First Nations students and their connections to their territory, both land and waterways, through traditional subsistence activities in Sm’algya̱x (Tsimshian language).
In 2017-2018 the North Coast Technical Team initiated a project to update bull and giant kelp biomass data. Data collected will be used to inform future year applications for commercial harvest of the species. MaPP will purchase satellite imagery at low tide and peak biomass and verify data in the field. Though unable to collect the satellite imagery in 2017-2018 due to inclement weather, the project will be completed in the summer of 2018.
The North Coast MaPP Technical Team has engaged a contractor to develop a water quality monitoring strategy for the North Coast that will be completed in summer of 2018. The contractor is working in collaboration with the MaPP North Coast partners to create a strategy for ongoing water quality monitoring in the North Coast sub-region to support ecosystem-based monitoring, cumulative effects, and climate change objectives and strategies.
Learning from the process followed to develop the North Coast spatial zones, North Coast-Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society (NCSFNSS) worked closely with member and partner First Nations to identify and map cultural conservation priorities (areas important for harvesting, culture and spirituality, culturally significant species) for the MPA Network planning process. Quantitative targets for their spatial representation in the network were also identified for consideration in the design of potential MPA network scenarios. This process supports overall objectives of the North Coast Marine Plan to conserve and protect a range of values that the marine environment provides.
The North Coast sub-region continues to lead and advance implementation of objectives and strategies for addressing the cumulative effects of human activities and ‘natural’ drivers, such as climate change. The information developed will be used to inform management and decision making processes. In 2017-2018, with North Coast sub-region leadership, MaPP approved at a technical level A Framework for the Assessment and Management of Cumulative Effects on the North Pacific Coast. This framework provides a common and agreed-to approach for assessing, managing and monitoring cumulative effects on coastal and marine values. Through a close collaboration between the ESI North Coast Cumulative Effects Project and the MaPP North Coast Cumulative Effects Initiative, implementation of this framework has begun on a set of four initial values: aquatic habitats, estuary (focus on Skeena Estuary), access to resources, salmon and food security.
For details about progress on marine plan implementation activities, see the North Coast Annual Report 2018.