Scope of Implementation
Level of Polarization This Method Can Handle


Ecosystem-based Management

September 30, 2018 16:04   (UTC +00:00) Scott Fletcher, Participedia Team
September 30, 2018 15:03   (UTC +00:00) Scott Fletcher, Participedia Team
June 13, 2018 15:03   (UTC +00:00) Lucy J Parry, Participedia Team
November 1, 2017 14:02   (UTC +00:00) Tyler Carlson
Scope of Implementation
Level of Polarization This Method Can Handle
The following entry is a stub. Please help us complete it. click for more info

Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is a conceptual approach to governance that links human and ecological systems through adaptive management approaches.

Note: the following entry is a stub. Please help us complete it. 

Problems and Purpose

Generally, EBM promotes human well-being by managing for the coexistence of "healthy, fully functioning ecosystems and human communities" (CIT, 2004, pg. 9). EBM is also theorized to be collaborative insofar as it fosters participation and encourages respect for the diverse values and aspirations of communities. Moreover, Parsons (2015) suggests this management paradigm exhibits various "ecological', 'managing uncertainty', and 'social' principles.

Origins and Development

Participant Recruitment and Selection

How it Works: Process, Interaction, and Decision-Making

Three guiding principles of EBM guide its form and application:

1. Maintaining Ecological Integrity 

Ecological Integrity is the abundance and diversity of organisms at all levels, and the ecological patterns, processes, and structural attributes responsible for that biological diversity and for ecosystem resilience (CIT, 2004, pg.13). Ecological-based Management recognizes and follows ecological boundaries such as watershed boundaries which is more effective at maintaining the integrity of an ecosystem than management that follows political (jurisdictional) boundaries. It is also essential that managers move beyond the traditional, hierarchical management structure, and make connections between patterns and processes at all scales within an ecosystem, including site, neighbourhood, ecosystem, and regional scales and species, population, ecosystem, and watershed levels of analysis.

2. Managing Uncertainty Data Collection

Data collection involves collection of both social and ecological data to establish the condition of an ecosystem and to implement monitoring (Slocombe, 1998a). Monitoring: Monitoring involves identifying and using data and indicators of change to characterize ecosystem status and maintenance/improvement of health. Adaptive Management: Adaptive Management is a systematic and iterative approach for improving resource management by emphasizing learning from management outcomes (Bormann, Haynes, & Martin, 2007). Adaptive management involves testing assumptions and exploring alternatives. Data collection and monitoring can be seen as components of the adaptive management cycle

3. Social Interagency Cooperation

In conjunction with the principle of managing through ecological boundaries, governments, non-governmental organizations, and citizens will need to work together to implement components of EBM.

(Adapted from Parsons, 2015, pg. 23) 

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

Analysis and Lessons Learned

Organizational Change: The structures of land management agencies and their operations may need to change, for example by forming interagency committees, or changing professional norms and shifting power dynamics. 

Humans Embedded in Nature: Humans need to acknowledge their impact and dependence on ecological patterns and processes. 

Values: Acknowledge the role that humans play in ecosystem management goals, even in the presence of adequate scientific information.

See Also

Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation

Collaborative Planning

Collaborative Governance

Integrated Water Resources Management


Coast Information Team (CIT). (2004). The Scientific Basis of Ecosystem-Based Management. Retrieved from 

Parsons, K. (2015). Restoring a Paradise of a Place: Exploring the potential for urban Ecosystem-based Management in the Still Creek Watershed, Vancouver, BC. Simon Fraser University

External Links


Lead image: Timothy Corey