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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Natters about Matters


We spend a lot of time around here thinking about PNCIMA (pronounced pen-SEA-ma).You might be wondering what it is. I can tell you that it’s not a food group or a dance move, although 'pensema' in Esperanto means 'pensive' or 'thoughtful'. This is fitting, because the PNCIMA area gives us a lot to think about…

Think about a place…

Think about Canada's left coast. Ancient, wild, mystical...and big. Everything here is big, and PNCIMA is no exception. PNCIMA is the big ocean that stretches from northern Vancouver Island around Haida Gwaii and on to B.C.'s northern border, while washing up against the Great Bear Rainforest along the way.

Think about wildlife…

All those spirit bears in the Great Bear Rainforest? What do you think they like to eat? Salmon, that’s what. And they come from PNCIMA's waters. They're not alone, of course. Many of the Pacific's most iconic and ecologically important animals call PNCIMA home.

Think about the people…

PNCIMA is has been the home of coastal First Nations for time immemorial. More recently, settler communities with thriving economies have sprouted on its shores and harvested the ocean's bounty. It shapes cultures, fills plates and serves as a muse for artists.

Think about the name…

Okay, maybe a bit more thought could have gone into the name. The federal government dubbed the area the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area or PNCIMA. Face it – it's a silly name for a spectacular region. And it isn't any better in French (although I kind of like the Esperanto definition).

Think about a plan…

After they named it, the Canadian government and the coastal First Nations began working with the people who live and work in PNCIMA to plan how human activities should be managed there. Maybe you live in PNCIMA and you want to have your say about how the ocean will be used. Government want to hear from you. But where to start? To help you figure out what to do, we've just launched a new web site pertaining to all things PNCIMA because PNCIMA matters.

The site gives you and other Canadians a place to learn, share and do. What's your vision for the future? Post it here where you can voice your ideas and take action on important conservation issues. Share videos and stories about the coast to let everyone know what's important. Get some solid background on the people, places, economy and wildlife of the area.

At the end of the day if you want to get really pensema about it, an ocean by any other name is still an ocean. Visit the new website (link) to find out why PNCIMA means so much more.

Geoff Gilliard is the Communication Manager for the Living Oceans Society. is co-hosted by Living Oceans Society, David Suzuki Foundation, and Sierra Club BC.

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