Integrated Management in the Beaufort Sea supports the national Integrated Management Policy by establishing a regional intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder planning process to develop and implement an Integrated Ocean Management Plan for the Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Managaement Area (LOMA). This multi-year, strategic level plan will provide long-term direction and a common basis for integrated, ecosystem-based and adaptive management of all marine activities. The Canadian Beaufort Sea LOMA has been selected for the application of integrated ocean management because it possesses important living and non-living marine resources, significant areas of high biological diversity and productivity, and increasing levels of multiple use and competition for ocean space and resources. Key ocean use interests and activities include subsistence fisheries, offshore oil and gas, shipping, maritime defence operations, submarine cables, science, research and development, recreation and tourism, potential offshore minerals development, and marine conservation. The goal for the Beaufort Sea integrated management planning process is to have an effective, collaborative process that provides integrated and adaptive management plans, as well as strategies and actions for ecosystem, social, economic sustainability. This collaborative process is an open, inclusive and transparent advisory and decision-making process involving all interested and affected parties. Ocean management plans and decisions are based on shared information where those with the decision-making authority and those affected by the decision jointly seek outcomes that meet the needs and interests of all parties to the greatest possible degree. Under this approach, those with the authority, power and responsibility to implement agreed-upon management measures will be expected to do so as part of their commitment to the planning process.
The supporting objectives of Beaufort Sea Integrated Management planning process are aimed at a balanced approach to achieving ecosystem, social, economic, and institutional sustainability. As determined by the mandate of the Oceans Act, the four overarching objectives of the Initiative are to:
- Integrate the management of all measures and activities in or affecting the Beaufort Sea LOMA;
- Manage for conservation, sustainability and responsible use of ocean space and marine resources;
- Restore and maintain natural biological diversity and productivity; and
- Provide opportunities for economic diversification and sustainable wealth generation to foster social well-being for coastal communities and stakeholders.