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Integrated Oceans Management Planning in Canada: An Evaluation of the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area Process

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Over the past decade, there has been a surge of interest around the world in marine planning as an innovative approach to balancing sustainable development and conservation of the marine environment. In 2009, a marine planning process was initiated for a region called the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA) in British Columbia, Canada. The final integrated oceans management plan for the PNCIMA was officially endorsed in February 2017. The collaborative planning process used to prepare the PNCIMA plan was evaluated using a multi-criteria evaluation method. The results show that the PNCIMA process had strengths and weaknesses: three of the twenty-six best practice criteria were met, thirteen were moderately met, and nine were unmet. Further, stakeholders reached consensus on some but not all elements of the PNCIMA plan. Recommendations are identified for design and management of future collaborative marine planning processes based on the PNCIMA evaluation.
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