underwater view of a diver over a coral reef
God's Pocket Marine Park A diver explores this underwater park near Hurst Island, BC. © Jon McCormack

Conserving at Scale

Deep Collaboration for the Great Bear Sea

The Marine Planning Partnership has fundamentally changed how sustainable marine planning is done on the North Pacific Coast.

In 2016, the Marine Plan Partnership was signed between 17 First Nations and the Province of British Columbia, with the support of Nature United, to implement marine spatial plans that advance ocean management, enhance coastal communities and recognize Indigenous rights in the Great Bear Sea.

Building on the historic Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, which set out to advance protection and human well-being across 19-million acres, Nature United is leveraging our global expertise to advance the most comprehensive marine management plan in the world.

Nowhere else in the world has an ocean management plan been jointly agreed to by Indigenous peoples and a state government.

MaPP has shifted the governance and decision-making towards First Nations leadership and values in a way that strengthens Nations' stewardship capacity and economic development. The impacts are felt far and wide, whether it’s through boosting the capacity of the Coastal Stewardship Network or providing the decision-making platform through which industry and government can work together with First Nations to coordinate and plan marine-based activities and conservation


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Looking Ahead

Thanks to the support of our visionary donors, our work in the Great Bear Sea will continue and be supported by our investments in sustainable, locally-led fisheries that drive meaningful environmental, social and economic outcomes for local Indigenous and coastal communities. We will also be cultivating fisheries sector participation in the final MPA Network design, something that we know from our experience in marine protected area management around the world is critical for their lasting success.

New Marine Protected Areas will be developed and supported through computer modeling and the synthesis of scientific research, advancing sustainable management across more than 25 million acres of ocean.