7-8 February 2012
Chairpersons: Janelle Curtis, Ian Perry
Under Canada’s Oceans Act (1997), “conservation, based on an ecosystem approach”, is of fundamental importance to maintaining biological diversity and productivity in the marine environment”. This Act provides the legislative framework for an integrated ecosystem approach to management in Canadian oceans, particularly in areas considered ecologically or biologically significant. DFO has developed guidance for the identification of ecologically or biologically significant areas (EBSA) (DFO 2004), and has endorsed the scientific criteria of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for identifying ecologically or biologically significant marine areas as defined in Annex I of Decision IX/20 of its 9th Conference of Parties (UNEP/CBD, 2008)
The identification of EBSAs in the Canadian Pacific region will serve as a key component of the knowledge base for: i) regional development activities and marine use planning; ii) the development of Canada’s network of marine protected areas (MPA) under the Oceans Act; and, iii) facilitating the implementation of DFO’s Sustainable Fisheries Framework under the Fisheries Act. In addition, this information will be of value to other federal Departments and the Province of British Columbia, who are responsible for the management of marine activities in this region (e.g. resource extraction, marine shipping, ocean dumping, spill response, cable laying, land use planning, etc.).
A Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS), Regional Advisory Process (RAP) will be held in Nanaimo, British Columbia, to provide peer review of two working papers developed in support of providing science advice on the identification of marine EBSAs in the Strait of Georgia and west coast of Vancouver Island areas, and to update information on the identification of EBSAs in the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA), using the EBSA criteria defined by DFO.
The objective of this science advisory process is to identify ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs) in Canadian Pacific marine waters, specifically the Strait of Georgia, west coast of Vancouver Island, and the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA). It is not the objective of this advisory process to review the specific methods for identifying ecologically and biological significant areas; these have been reviewed as part of national DFO advisory processes (DFO, 2004; 2011).
To achieve this objective, meeting participants will address the following:
The following papers provide the basis for discussion and advice on the specific questions outlined above:
UNEP/CBD. 2008. Decision adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its Ninth Meeting IX/20. Marine and coastal biodiversity COP/DEC/IX/20. 12p. http://www.cbd.int/doc/decisions/cop-09/cop-09-dec-20-en.pdf
Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.