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Community-Based Ecosystem Management

Around the world, communities are calling for more control over the management of local natural resources. In many countries, governments are looking for ways to provide communities with greater authority, realizing that conventional forms of centralized management and regulation have failed to meet community needs and sustain local ecosystems. Community-based ecosystem management is increasingly recognized as a key element in any strategy to support community economic development and to protect critical ecosystems.

One of the main challenges of community-based ecosystem management  in British Columbia is being able to support community goals while maintaining a significant role for provincial and federal governments. To address this challenge, POLIS has advocated for the creation of Community Ecosystem Trusts. The model provides a framework for the gradual transfer of control over local ecosystems and natural resources from central governments to the communities who live in, around, and with them. Under this model, communities are given much more responsibility for regulation, monitoring and enforcement of natural resource management and land tenure reform. And the government role shifts to one of facilitating communities to assume their responsibilities to ensure long-term sustainability. This form of ecological governance removes structural, legal and economic barriers to ecosystem-based community management and has major implications for Aboriginal title and treaty processes.

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Page last updated: 02/07/2013