EM (Ecosystem based Management)

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Definition of Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM):
Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is a term used to describe a balanced way of managing resources while taking the surrounding ecosystem into account. There is no one definition of EBM, but this early definition has stood the test of time and is widely quoted: "…ecosystem management is integrating scientific knowledge of ecological relationships within a complex sociopolitical and values framework toward the general goal of protecting native ecosystem integrity over the long term." [1]
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.


  1. Grumbine, R. E. “What is Ecosystem Management?” Conservation Biology 8 (1994): pp. 27-38.