Planning for the Oceans: How long is Your Plan, Man!

By March 14, 2011 September 17th, 2011 Ocean News

I’m in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada for the beginning part of this week (week of March 14th) and on my flight out here I watched a CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation) program on Dr. David Suzuki (I love technology and the fact that I can watch TV and movies on the plane). I grew up watching programs starring David Suzuki like the Nature of Things and other educational shows. I knew the man was passionate about the environment, but the program that I watched really dove into his passion for nature and revealed a side that never knew about the geneticist. The focus of the portion of the program I watched was on the Haida G’waii, an indigenous nation in British Columbia that has not only managed it’s lands for hundreds of years, but is continuing the tradition today fusing traditional culture with today’s technology for managing nature. Suzuki is close to the Haida nation dating back to the 70s. His daughter is married to a Haida man with a Suzuki-Haida child.

However, the point of this post is not to describe David Suzuki. It’s to focus on something David mentioned in the program. Suzuki stated that he made a home in the Haida nation because it is where he feels connected on a physical, mental, and emotional level. He hopes his children, grand children, and great grandchildren will feel the same connection and remain on the land for decades if not centuries to come. Therefore, when logging companies come to his community and offer their 20 year plan on tree harvesting, he does not want to hear about it. He wants to know their 500 year plan. He wants to make sure that the land to which he is currently connected will remain the same 500 years from now. Wow! That is all I have to say. I almost ten years of environmental consulting, I never heard of anyone asking for a 500 year plan. Is it even possible?

It was like I had an Ah-ha moment on the plane (in fact, I believe I might have said Ah-ha out loud on the plane). why aren’t managers planning for 100, 200, or even 500 years down the road. The goal of conservation and sustainable resource management is to ensure the same resources and features that everyone knows and loves are still around in the future. But what is the future. Businesses now a days come and go like the sunset. The current business model in natural resources is driven by profits. I mean not just medial profits, we are talking major profits where millionaires become billionaires and billionaires make another billion to the point where they cannot spend all their money because they have too much. But I digress…

Planning for the future of our Oceans means planning for the long-term. The time scale for Ocean planning and Business planning need to match in order for us to efficiently save the Oceans and maintain Economic viability.

The program on David Suzuki inspired me to discuss Ocean planning for the entire week. I will post 5 articles this week on Ocean Planning to give you a breakdown of what we have done in the past, where we are, and where we need to go.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions you may have on Ocean Planning and what we need to do to protect our Oceans Environment, Oceans Economy, and Oceans Community.

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