Sabine has significant professional experience in the field of marine conservation and management, including engagement in political and policy processes at the local, provincial, national and international levels. She has published in these fields, and has been nationally recognized for her accomplishments, including the most recent award in 2008 from the Coastal Zone Canada Association.
Sabine is the National Manager of the Oceans and Great Freshwater Lakes Program for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), a leading Canadian non-governmental conservation organization over the past 40 years. Since 1993 she has directed the British Columbia marine conservation program for CPAWS, focused on establishing marine protected areas and advancing ecosystem-based management on Canada’s Pacific coast. Sabine is recognized as one of Canada’s leading ocean conservation advocates. She has extensive experience in the fields of resource, coastal zone and environmental management, and has served as an advisor to a variety of organizations including the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation and the Economic Council of Canada. In Canada, Sabine served on the Minister’s Advisory Council on Oceans from 2000 to 2005, advising the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on issues related to the management of Canada’s oceans. She currently serves on the boards of West Coast Aquatic, the Coastal Zone Canada Association, and the Ocean Management Research Network. Sabine has a masters and undergraduate degree in geography from the University of Waterloo, with a focus on coastal zone and resource management.
Canada was considered a global leader in modern oceans management with the passage of the Oceans Act in 1997. With provisions for marine protected areas (MPAs) and integrated oceans management, the Oceans Act was meant to address the existing piecemeal approach to oceans management, by moving to a new approach founded in the concepts of sustainable development and ecosystem based management. However, the past 12 years of implementation of the Act have highlighted a number of challenges that are affecting the degree to which oceans management is actually changing from the existing sector by sector approach. These challenges are related to governance mechanisms, funding, and accountability. As global best practice moves to large-scale MPAs and MPA networks, and to marine spatial planning, Canada is beginning to explore how these new practices can be implemented to better manage its ocean estate.