Science Advisory Report 2016/002
Guidance on Identifying “Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures” in Canadian Coastal and Marine Waters
- Canada has agreed to a suite of international biodiversity conservation goals and targets (the Convention on Biological Diversity 2011‑2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity’s Aichi Targets) and adopted complementary domestic 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada. Both international and domestic targets call for the conservation of 10% of coastal and marine areas by 2020 (Canada’s Target 1 and Aichi Target 11).
- The intent of the Canada’s Target 1 and Aichi Target 11 is to contribute to halting the loss of biodiversity through the expansion of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.
- Both domestic Target 1 and Aichi Target 11 refer to “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OEABCMs) as a means of achieving these targets. How this term is interpreted will influence reporting on these targets.
- In reporting on these targets, area-based management measures (ABMM) implemented in Canadian coastal and marine waters (e.g. various types of fishery closures, critical habitat, etc.) are to be assessed to determine whether they are likely to be providing biodiversity conservation benefits, whether they meet the intent of the target, and ultimately which ones can be considered an OEABCM.
- A biodiversity conservation benefit is the net positive change in biodiversity resulting from the implementation of an ABMM, where biodiversity is the variability among living organisms including the diversity within species, among species, and within and among ecosystems. Benefits can occur either directly or indirectly via measures adopted primarily for another purpose.
- There are a suite of characteristics and factors that can assist in determining whether an ABMM is likely to provide biodiversity conservation benefits such as: geographic location, location compared to preferred habitat, duration of implementation, management/conservation objectives, habitat heterogeneity, adjacent management practices, full vs. partial protection, size, and spatial relationships (i.e. connectivity).
- The aforementioned characteristics and factors can help one make inferences regarding the likelihood of biodiversity conservation benefits provided by an ABMM. It is important to consider the full suite of characteristics and factors when determining whether an ABMM is providing biodiversity conservation benefits. However, geographic location and duration of implementation are considered to be minimum requirements for an ABMM to be considered as an OEABCM.
- In most cases quantitative evaluations of ABMMs will not be possible and inferences will be required. Therefore, uncertainty is inherent throughout the process of identifying OEABCMs. This uncertainty can be reduced through appropriate monitoring focused on documenting the extent of the biodiversity conservation benefits that are inferred for the ABMM.
- This Science Advisory Report provides guidance to support the developmentof an operational framework to identify OEABCMs. The suite of characteristics and factors presented may be amended based on tests with case-studies and with the further elaboration of the operational framework.
This Science Advisory Report is from the June 22‑23, 2015 national peer review on Guidance to Support the Identification of Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures. Additional publications from this meeting will be posted on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Science Advisory Schedule as they become available.
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