Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM)

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Definition of Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM):
A process that integrates biological, social and economic factors into a comprehensive strategy aimed at protecting and enhancing sustainability, diversity and productivity of natural resources. EBM emphasizes the protection of ecosystem structure, functioning and key processes; is place-based in focusing on a specific ecosystem and the range of activities affecting it; explicitly accounts for the interconnectedness among systems, such as between air, land and sea; and integrates ecological, social, economic and institutional perspectives, recognizing their strong interdependences.
This is the common definition for Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM), other definitions can be discussed in the article


Human activities on land and in the ocean are changing coastal and marine ecosystems and threatening their ability to provide important benefits to society, such as healthy and abundant seafood, clean beaches, and protection from storms and flooding. Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) is an innovative management approach to address these challenges. It considers the whole ecosystem, including humans and the environment, rather than managing one issue or resource in isolation [1]

Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) is a management approach that:

  • Integrates ecological, social, and economic goals and recognizes humans as key components of the ecosystem.
  • Considers ecological- not just political- boundaries.
  • Addresses the complexity of natural processes and social systems and uses an adaptive management approach in the face of resulting uncertainties.
  • Engages multiple stakeholders in a collaborative process to define problems and find solutions.
  • Incorporates understanding of ecosystem processes and how ecosystems respond to environmental perturbations.
  • Is concerned with the ecological integrity of coastal-marine systems and the sustainability of both human and ecological systems.