Table of Contents
Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is a great tool to protect not only the environment, but to do it in a way that is not detrimental to humans or the economy. Traditional environmental movements have for the most part been a failure since they advanced the environment at the expense of the economy and of humans. However, we cannot continue in this same manner or else we will live in a world that is too polluted to live in. One of the greatest minds, Stephen Hawking stated, “We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet”. EBM is an approach that helps protect the environment but also takes into consideration both the economy and social aspects. This paper will provide an analysis of EBM by first giving an explanation of what it is, and then provide examples of adopting EBM, and finally highlight some barriers to EBM. Analysis
The six aspects of EBM
Integration. The first aspect of ecosystem-based management is the integration of social, economic, and ecological goals (“About EBM”, 2010). That is managing all aspects of human activity. Gibson (2006) reported, “The realm of sustainability has often been depicted as the intersection of social, economic and ecological interests and initiatives”. If only the social interests are examined then the community might only want green parks. If only economic interests are examined then industry will grow unchecked polluting the environment. If only ecological interests are examined then only nature preserves would be established with no interaction of humans.
We need to incorporate all of three of these aspects in order to come up with solutions that satisfy all stakeholders. “Many approaches to sustainability oriented assessments — at the project as well as strategic level — have begun by addressing the social, economic and ecological considerations separately and have then struggled with how to integrate the separate ﬁndings” (Gibson, 2006). The foundation of the different studies should be the integration of the three aspects rather than integrating after the fact.
Boundaries. The second aspect of EBM is the consideration of ecological boundaries rather than just political boundaries (“About EBM”, 2010). An ecological boundary can be thought of as a heterogeneous area that has something that defines it. Such as the boundary of a forest would be the area the forest covers. Cadenasso, Pickett, Weathers, and Jones (2003) informed, “Boundaries are important components of spatially heterogeneous areas. Boundaries are the zones of contact that arise whenever these areas are partitioned into patches”. Contrast this to political boundaries which would be described as the boundaries of different countries or even states and cities within a country.
Using an adoptive management approach. Natural process and social systems are extremely complex, thus an adoptive management approach must be adopted in face of this uncertainty (“About EBM”, 2010). The environment is complex and that is why flexibility is needed which the adoptive management approach provides. According to Kwasniak (2010), “Adaptive management theory recognises that we cannot make foolproof predictions of environmental impacts of human interventions into complex ecosystems. It mandates that environmental managers retain the ability to respond to change and inaccurate predictions”. Thus any preconceived notions or biases should be thrown out, and changes should be made based on research findings.
Interest based negotiations. Engaging all interest holders in a collaborative process to define problems and find solutions (“About EBM”, 2010). The idea is to come up with win-win solutions to negotiations and a great way to do this is by using interest based negotiations. Interest based negations is a four step process. “(1) Identifying issues and...
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