Canada-British Columbia Marine Protected Area Network Strategy

Table of Contents

  1. Complete Text
  2. Preface
  3. Introduction
  4. The Need to Plan MPA Networks
  5. What is an MPA? What is an MPA Network?
  6. Vision and Goals for a Network of Marine Protected Areas on the Pacific Coast of Canada
  7. Planning Principles
  8. Planning Regions for Marine Protected Area Networks
  9. Governance
  10. Moving Forward
  11. Appendix 1. Marine Ecosystem Stressors in the North East Pacific
  12. Appendix 2. Protected Area Legislation in Pacific Canada
  13. Appendix 3. International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Guidelines for Applying Protected Area Management Categories
  14. Background Documents and References

What is an MPA? What is an MPA Network?

PHOTO: © DOUG BIFFARD

PHOTO: © CHARLIE SHORT

Between Canada and British Columbia, MPAs are defined depending on the legislative tool used for designation (Appendix 2). As a result of the diverse definitions in use, there are a number of different terms used to describe various kinds of MPAs in Canada and British Columbia, including national marine conservation areas, national parks, marine wildlife areas, marine protected areas, provincial parks, ecological reserves, conservancies and wildlife management areas.

For the purposes of this Strategy, the term 'marine protected area' will be used as a single, general umbrella term that is applied to the range of different marine habitat protection tools available under federal and provincial legislation. In addition, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature / World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN/WCPA) 2008 definitions of a protected area and a protected area network have been adopted both nationally and regionally for developing networks of MPAs. These definitions are:

Marine Protected Area

"A clearly defined geographical space recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values".

"A collection of individual marine protected areas that operates cooperatively and synergistically, at various spatial scales, and with a range of protection levels, in order to fulfill ecological aims more effectively and comprehensively than individual sites could alone."

Marine protected area networks in British Columbia will embrace the full spectrum of MPA tools available to maximize protection of the range of different values provided by marine and coastal environments. As a result, MPAs will serve a range of functions and will appear in a wide array of sizes, shapes and designs and will offer a range of protection standards. However, to be considered for inclusion in a network, it must be demonstrated that a given MPA:

  1. Meets the network definition of a marine protected area, including each of the key terms as described by the IUCN (Appendix 3);
  2. Contributes to the Canada-BC MPA Network Strategy Goal #1; and
  3. Has a management plan or protection guidance explicitly specified in supporting legislation or regulations and is being effectively managed for achievement of the MPA network goal(s).
Date modified: