PACIFIC ECOSYSTEMS, PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE: Integrating Knowledge and Values, Anticipating Climate Change
AbstractFirst Nations developed ‘Integrated, ecosystem-based management ’ thousands of years ago, creating some of the richest societies on the planet. Today, with resources depleted and fisheries in crisis, politicians seek ‘alternative ’ sources of jobs and revenue. In British Columbia, government statistics put fisheries (commercial, sport, processing and aquaculture combined) at only 0.5 % of GDP. This puts depleted ecosystems on a game board where farmed salmon, oil and gas, etc., are sure to win. Unlike the integrated, ecosystem-based management developed by First Nations, today, ecosystem-based management tends to be seen as an obstacle to more lucrative developments, e.g. farmed salmon and oil and gas and an additional cost or constraint on industrial activities from intensive commercial fishing to waste disposal. First Nations recognize a much broader range of values to present and future generations. The Aboriginal view of a connected ecosystem, essential to life can play a key role in re-uniting ecosystem-based and integrated management. First Nations have vital contributions to make in providing the time-depth necessary to know what the ecosystem is capable of producing; linking fine-scale knowledge and management to regional and global issues and processes; and identifying the full scope of values to present and future generations. We present an approach to linking ecosystem knowledge and values where synergy between traditional knowledge and past ecosystem records, computer modelling and current research enables prediction of future ecosystem states and ecological, social and economic consequences.