Integrated management planning in Canada's arctic and sub-arctic : a case study of Manitoba's marine coastline

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Melnyk, Sara
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Canada's Oceans Act (1997) directs that integrated management be undertaken to ensure the sustainable use and health of coastal ecosystems. One aspect of this broad objective is the development of an effective planning process. Such a process will identify social, cultural, environmental and economic values, and so provide a solid basis for future management plans. The purpose of this research was to develop, implement and evaluate a model process to be used in conducting an inventory of coastal resource uses and interests in Canada's arctic and sub-arctic regions, using Manitoba's marine coastline as a case study. Summary maps depicting resources uses and interests in Manitoba's 1,400km sub-arctic coastline were developed, with emphasis on the region surrounding the small northern community of Churchill. Through literature reviews and qualitative interviews with coastal resource users, summary maps were produced that apportion the coast into distinct management units based on ecological, geographical and human use characteristics. Using this basis, the community has prioritized the importance of each unit, in terms of ecological, economic, cultural or social value. Additionally, within the management units themselves, concerns and activities are depicted as they occur along the coast. While the maps were in the draft stage, they were taken back to the community for result verification. These summary maps have established a solid basis for the development of integrated management processes on Manitoba's coastline, as defined in Canada's Oceans Act, since coastal uses and interests have been inventoried and prioritized by interested parties. This model will also serve to guide similar developments throughout Canada's arctic and sub-arctic coastal regions, which possess characteristics similar to Manitoba's sub-arctic coast.