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Creating new Marine Protected Areas

Establishing Marines Protected Areas (MPAs) under the Oceans Act

Step 1: Selection of Area of Interest (AOI) through one of the 13 bioregional MPA Network Process

Step 2: Ecological/biophysical, social, cultural and economic overview & assessment of the AOI

Step 3: Development of the regulatory intent and consultation with interested/affected parties

The proposed MPA design and regulations is developed based on a comprehensive understanding of the state of the ecosystem in the area based on best available science, traditional and local knowledge, and community based monitoring and other sources of information.

Step 4: Regulatory process & designation of the MPA

Step 5: MPA Management

A well-defined MPA management framework increases certainty and predictability for oceans users. It also tailors MPA management towards achievement of stated MPA goals and objectives, resulting in more effective and efficient protection. This may yield greater ecological benefits and associated ecosystem goods and services.

The key elements to the MPA management framework are the Conservation Objectives, the MPA Management Plan; the MPA Monitoring Plan (which includes monitoring indicators, protocols and strategies); Compliance and Enforcement; and Public Education and Outreach. The MPA Management Plan provides guidance to affected and interested parties on the MPA regulations and associated regulatory measures, as well as on non-regulatory measures (e.g., best management practices, public awareness through communications) to achieve the MPA objectives. Stakeholders are given the opportunity to provide their input into the initial draft MPA Management Plan prior to its finalization and into subsequent revisions of the plan.

When MPA management is supported by a monitoring framework, managers can make informed decisions to adaptively manage the MPA, resulting in more effective MPA management. A monitoring framework also ensures that monitoring is strategic, efficient, and makes use of collaborative arrangements where possible.MPA regulations follow a life-cycle approach, meaning that attention is given not only to regulatory development but also to the implementation, monitoring, evaluation and review of regulations. As a result, the life cycle approach improves the effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability of the regulatory system to support the government's commitment to Canadians.

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