Integrated Management Planning in Canada's Northern Marine Environment: Engaging Coastal Communities

  • Sara Eddy
  • Helen Fast
  • Thomas Henley
Keywords: integrated management planning, Oceans Act, community engagement, Churchill, Manitoba, northern Canada, Hudson Bay

Abstract

In accordance with international law and custom, Canada declared an exclusive economic zone of 2.9 million km² when it passed the Oceans Act in 1997. Extensive resource management responsibilities were associated with this declaration. An early effort to engage a northern coastal community in the first stages of an integrated management planning process focused on the small northern community of Churchill, Manitoba, and a 150 km stretch of the Hudson Bay coastline. The steps taken included communicating the importance of management planning for the town's coastal region; conducting personal interviews on coastal activities and concerns with a representative sample of the community; consolidating, tabulating, and mapping the results of these interviews; verifying results with the community; and evaluating the effectiveness of the process used. The approach taken, as well as the weeks spent living in the community, were important factors in developing a relationship of trust between the researcher and the community. Those interviewed were more comfortable participating once they had had a number of opportunities to become familiar with the context of the study, its relevance to them, and the researcher.

Published
2002-01-01