The origins of “other effective area-based conservation measures”

The term was first introduced in 2010 at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). All parties to the Convention, including Canada, agreed to an international conservation target known as Aichi Target 11 which states:

“By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscape and seascape.”

These “other effective area-based conservation measures” are often simply referred to as “other measures”, and include, for example, the closure of specific areas to fishing.

Efforts are underway internationally to develop guidance for “other measures”, including efforts to develop voluntary CBD guidance.

Creating DFO’s guidance on marine “other measures”

In order to achieve its 2017 marine conservation target, the Government of Canada has developed guidance for identifying marine “other measures”. This guidance determines whether existing marine management measures besides Marine Protected Areas contribute towards Canada’s marine conservation targets.

This guidance was developed by DFO and is based on advice generated through the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS). Emerging direction being taken by an International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Task Force and the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA) was also considered.

“Other measures” in Canada’s oceans

“Other measures” and Oceans Act Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) use similar approaches. MPAs prohibit human activities that compromise the conservation objectives of the area. Similarly, to be recognized as an “other measure,” no human activities may take place in the area that will threaten what the area aims to protect.

“Other measures” will be evaluated regularly, taking the most recent available information into account, to ensure the ecological components of interest continue to be conserved. Outcomes of evaluations will be shared with partners and stakeholders. An adaptive management approach will ensure that any new activity that may be harmful to the ecological components being protected will be addressed. If this is not possible, the “other measure” will be removed from future reporting.

For more information, please visit Operational Guidance for Identifying ‘Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures’ in Canada’s Marine Environment.

Providing feedback on DFO’s guidance

Feedback can be provided by email ( Other.Measures-Autres.Mesures@dfo-mpo.gc.ca) or during meetings with DFO officials. DFO is meeting regularly with Provinces and Territories, Indigenous Groups, environmental groups, communities, fishing industry associations and other marine industry stakeholders as part of the work to achieve the marine conservation targets.

Feedback received will be considered once the CBD’s voluntary guidance is available. At that time, DFO will review and assess the CBD guidance and determine if adjustments are required to DFO’s approach.

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