The Foundation has supported Tides Canada for a variety of projects relevant to its conservation work, because Tides Canada has a successful history of working with Canadian, US, and international foundations, providing a valuable source of on-the-ground knowledge of charitable opportunities in Canada. This has been particularly helpful for US foundations that wish to support Canadian charities. Tides Canada is able to provide funds to Canadian charities, many of which are not registered under US tax law. Tides Canada also works with institutional funders who want to pool their resources toward particular goals. These mechanisms are similar to what are provided by United Way of Canada.
The Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA) is a region prioritized by the federal government in 2004 through their Ocean Action Plan. The PNCIMA was identified using ecological criteria – such as ocean currents, water depth and ocean floor topography – and jurisdictional boundaries as an area for integrated planning. For further information, see http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/publications/docs/pncima-eng.htm.
In 2009, as part of its work towards ensuring healthy oceans and economies, the Foundation agreed to partner with the governments of Canada and British Columbia to fill a funding gap in the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area planning initiative. Any of the sectors involved could have donated funds based on the shared principles of accountability and transparency, but no other sectors did. The Foundation donated a grant for:
- Processes to ensure strong leadership, equitable governance and sound management through its Steering Committee and Planning Office.
- Production of relevant technical marine spatial and a-spatial planning products, to link to Coastal, Sub-Regional, and Large Ocean Management Area scales and to inform the backbone of the Integrated Marine Management Plan.
- Facilitation of processes and conditions to enable stakeholder engagement and public review.
- Provision of multi-disciplinary scientific and technical information and advice and traditional and local knowledge through a Marine Technical Advisory Team, such that science and technical information would be synthesized and developed for planning and decision-making, data would be integrated, ecosystem and economic models and scenario analyses would be incorporated, research and monitoring priorities would be identified, and indicators would be developed for Integrated Marine Management Plan implementation.
- Development of a Strategic Communications and Outreach Plan for stakeholder and public engagement.
- A project management fee.
With these elements interwoven into the PNCIMA plan, we believed the initiative could yield a common-sense solution where communities create wealth from the oceans by balancing multiple uses with conservation. The funding supported Canadian leadership in a transparent, science-based planning process for a marine area that had been identified by Canadians as unique and important.
Clear accountability measures separated the Foundation's grant-making from government decision-making.
This initiative has since evolved, and the Foundation remains committed to playing a positive, solutions-oriented role in supporting an integrated approach to oceans management in B.C. that yields real results for people, jobs, and the environment.