New article published about Marine Zoning for the Marine Plan Partnership

Marine zoning for the Marine Plan Partnership (MaPP) in British Columbia, Canada is a new article published in the journal, Marine Policy, in February 2023. 

 The authors of the paper are Charlie Short, Joanna L Smith, John Bones, Steve Diggon, Aaron Heidt, Chris Mcdougall, and Kylee A  Pawluk.


A zoning framework was developed for the Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast (MaPP) in order to provide guidance for decisions regarding coastal and marine economic development, marine resource management, and marine protection or conservation across the MaPP region, the Northern Shelf Bioregion, British Columbia, Canada. The MaPP Zoning Framework was developed over an 18-month period at the beginning of the marine spatial planning (MSP) process with stakeholder consultation and incorporated lessons learned from other planning efforts in British Columbia and globally. The three main requirements for the Framework included that it was applicable and flexible for use across the MaPP regional boundary, which included four sub-regions that had diverse priorities and marine activities, that guiding principles for zoning would provide consistency for policy and other decisions within the MaPP regions, and that zone categories synergized with existing policy and legislation. A stakeholder advisory process was used to develop the Framework which resulted in three zone categories to achieve the goals of MaPP: Protection Management Zone (PMZ), Special Management Zone (SMZ), and General Management Zone (GMZ). Zone identification included numerous factors such as species and habitat diversity, cultural values, existing uses and activities, and priorities for sustainable economic development and conservation. The Framework was effectively used to zone 102,000 km2 of the MaPP region during the MSP process for more than 15 different sectors that were within the scope of the MaPP partners’ jurisdiction. Importantly, the Framework was successfully adapted across the four distinct MaPP sub-regions and consistently applied for an effective regional approach to decision making and management for both First Nations and provincial governments.

Map of the MaPP study area showing the four sub-regions (Haida Gwaii, North Coast, Central Coast, and North Vancouver Island) and the zones developed using the Framework during the planning process.

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