ecosystem health

Ecosystem-based Conservation Planning

(from the Fraser Headwaters Proposed Conservation Plan:  Silva Forest Foundation, 2001)

Ecosystem-based conservation planning is based upon the principle that economies are subsets of human cultures and societies, which in turn are subsets of ecosystems. Human societies are dependent upon the natural diversity and integrity of the ecosystems of which they are a part. Therefore, if our activities protect the functioning of ecosystems, we will protect human cultures, and if we protect human cultures, we will protect and sustain our economies.

An ecosystem-based approach protects ecosystem functioning at all spatial scales through time as the first priority, and then seeks to sustain, within ecological limits, a diversity of human uses across the landscape. In other words, an ecosystem-based approach focuses first on what to leave and then on what can be taken without damage to ecosystem functioning.

A detailed explanation of Silva’s ecosystem-based methodology can be found here.

The Silva Forest Foundation has completed three ecosystem-based plans in the Fraser Headwaters bioregion

The proposed Fraser Headwaters Conservation Plan is the first significant attempt at a conservation area design for the Fraser Headwaters, and improved drafts will follow. Extensive critiquing from local communities and a peer review has occured. There is strong feeling from FHA members and other conservationists in the region that a larger portion of the study area needs to be recommended for full protection. For example, the Walker Creek watershed, which has very high biodiversity values and is almost entirely intact, is a primary candidate.

Horsey Creek Watershed Plan

Raush River Watershed Plan

Fraser Headwaters Proposed Conservation Plan