Why Here?

In 2000, First Nations on the Pacific North Coast formed an alliance through the Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative. Our aim was to have greater access to resources in our Traditional Territories and a greater say in how they were managed.

To achieve this, CFN members have worked together to reach innovative land use planning agreements with the provincial government. These agreements have enabled Coastal First Nations communities to take an active role in developing a conservation-based economy for the future.

In 2005, First Nations extended this planning model to the marine and coastal areas. Through various marine planning processes, Coastal First Nations are now working with governments and other groups to plan for the best and most responsible uses of our waters.

Threats and Opportunities

Through marine planning processes, coastal First Nations are working to address threats and opportunities presented by growing development interest in our region, including:

  • Renewable energy
  • Cruise ship tourism
  • Major sport fishing
  • Oil and gas development
  • Shellfish Aquaculture
Protecting Salmon: Building Our Future

Marine Planning for Healthy Ecosystems

First Nations’ marine use plans also work to ensure long-term protection of the marine environment. Like other coastal systems around the globe, our traditional waters are facing enormous pressures from:

  • Declining fish stocks and ocean biodiversity.
  • Climate change impacts.
  • Threats from potential offshore oil and gas developments.
  • Overfishing impacts on traditional food harvesting.
  • Risks of spills and pollution from potential crude oil tanker traffic.

By planning for a healthy ocean future, Coastal First Nations are working to address these threats in order to:

  • Conserve and protect coastal ecosystems, and their ability to provide services for coastal communities.
  • Support sustainable economic opportunity.
  • Where necessary, restore coastal ecosystems.

Marine Planning Processes

Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA)

In 2008, Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative signed an agreement with the federal government to work collaboratively on the development of a marine planning process for the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA). In 2010, the Province of BC joined the agreement, making it a tri-partite process. In 2017, PNCIMA received full endorsement by First Nations, Canada and British Columbia. Learn more

Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast (MaPP)

In 2015, First Nations and the Province of BC signed marine plans through the Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast (MaPP). To manage competing demands for ocean use, First Nations created local and regional marine use plans for the Central and North Coast, and Haida Gwaii, and North Vancouver Island. Learn more

Northern Shelf Bioregion Marine Protected Area Network

Seventeen First Nations, Canada and British Columbia are working to develop a process to establish a Marine Protected Area network in our traditional waters through the Northern Shelf Bio-Region Marine Protected Area Network planning process. Learn more​​​​​​​