What is EBM?

Stretching for more than 250 miles along the coast of British Columbia, the 21-million-acre wilderness of the Great Bear Rainforest is sometimes called the Amazon of the North. The vast, sodden land encompasses 1,000-year-old cedars, waterfalls spouting off the sides of moss-covered mountains, granite-dark waters and glacier-cut fjords.

The land, sea and waterways are integrated and connected. Several elements of the environment – including old growth forests, grizzly bears, salmon streams, forest harvesting and tourism – are linked and impacted by human activities. The intent of ecosystem-based management (EBM) is to have fully functional and intact ecosystems while ensuring residents can continue to work and make a living in the area. This approach is key to the Great Bear Rainforest agreement and is based in science as well as traditional and local knowledge.

Now, with the Great Bear Rainforest land use order in place, 85% of the forests will be protected while at the same time providing economic opportunities and jobs for local First Nations and communities.

Did you know?


EBM is a highly specialized approach to managing natural resources and human activities. This approach considers the needs and wants of people while managing multiple environmental values at the same time. The approach is also adaptive. EBM practices are monitored and fine-tuned over time to improve how human activities are managed to ensure the coexistence of healthy, fully functioning ecosystems and local communities.

Another major component of EBM is the government-to-government relationships with First Nations while recognizing and managing important First Nations’ cultural and heritage resources.

NEXT: Ecosystem Protection