Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM)

Report on Canada’s Network of Marine Protected Areas
December 2018

Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM): Report on Canada’s Network of Marine Protected Areas
December 2018

Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM): Report on Canada’s Network of Marine Protected Areas December 2018 (PDF, 2.37 MB)

Table of Contents

List of Acronyms

AOI
Area of Interest
CBA
Cost-Benefit Analysis
CSAS
Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat
DFO
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
EBSA
Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area
ECCC
Environment and Climate Change Canada
ISR
Inuvialuit Settlement Region
IUCN
International Union for the Conservation of Nature
MPA
Marine Protected Area
OEABCM
Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measure
OTG
Oceans Task Group
PCA
Parks Canada Agency
RIAS
Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement
UN CBD (or CBD)
United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity

Executive Summary

In 2011, the National Framework for Canada’s Network of Marine Protected Areas (National Framework) was developed for the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM) to outline a strategic direction for establishing a national network of marine protected areas (MPAs). The vision describes “an ecologically comprehensive, resilient, and representative national network of marine protected areas that protects the biological diversity and health of the marine environment for present and future generations.”Footnote 1 In January 2016, CCFAM re-established the Oceans Task Group (OTG)Footnote 2 to provide guidance on implementation of the National Framework.

This report is divided into two parts. Part A highlights progress made on advancing the national network of MPAs in five priority bioregions: Northern Shelf, Western Arctic, Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves, Scotian Shelf, and Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. Part A also provides an update regarding Canada’s international commitment to increase marine and coastal conservation in its three oceans to 10 percent by 2020. Network development and bioregional governance processes support the establishment of individual MPAs and contribute toward Canada’s domestic and international marine conservation targets.

Significant progress has been made in meeting Canada’s domestic and international marine conservation targets. As of June 2018, approximately 7.9 percent of Canada’s marine and coastal territory was under some form of conservation, and network development was advancing in all five priority bioregions.

Reflecting the agreement made at the June 2017 meeting of Ministers, Part B presents a special focus on socio-economic and cultural considerations in MPA establishment and MPA network decision making, as well as other areas of cooperation. The report provides an update on the implementation of the National Framework, specifically with reference to how socio-economic data and cultural information are collected and integrated into MPA network development, including subsequent MPA establishment. This is a challenging and complex topic that requires clear explanations of the complicated considerations involved in balancing ecological and socio-economic benefits and costs. The OTG believes this report will contribute to increasing the credibility of Canada’s marine conservation efforts and assuring Canadians that the process is fair and transparent.

OTG Statements of Interest

Introduction

Banc-des-Américains AOI in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence bioregion

Banc-des-Américains AOI in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence bioregion (photo: DFO).

As a Party to the 1992 United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Canada has pledged to “integrate consideration of the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources into national decision making.”Footnote 3

Commitment to the conservation of marine biological resources stands as the first and most important of Canada’s three goals for its national network of MPAs: “To provide long-term protection of marine biodiversity, ecosystem function and special natural features.”Footnote 4 The concept of sustainable use introduces the socio-economic element into network development and is reflected in the second of Canada’s network goals: “To support the conservation and management of Canada’s living marine resources and their habitats, and the socio-economic values and ecosystem services they provide.”Footnote 5 Thirdly, Canada has committed to promoting social, cultural, and educational values through its third network goal. This may include protecting areas such as historical and archeological sites where they are compatible with national network goals and eligibility criteria.Footnote 6

During the 2017 CCFAM Ministerial meeting, Ministers agreed that the OTG would develop its second report on implementing the National Framework with a special focus on socio-economic and cultural considerations in decision making, as well as other areas of cooperation.

This report responds to that commitment and focuses on how socio-economic, social and cultural analyses are integrated into MPA network development, and illustrates how. within the established parameters of these analyses, this information is subsequently used in MPA establishment. Understanding how information is integrated into MPA network decision making and MPA establishment processes has become increasingly important, especially if conservation measures have potential future benefits and costs for communities or stakeholders because of the management of marine resources to meet the conservation objectives of an individual MPA.

By ensuring that socio-economic and cultural values are effectively integrated into MPA network development, Canada is demonstrating its commitment to the CBD 2050 Vision which states that “by 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.”

The type of socio-economic analysis undertaken to create an MPA network design (a map that guides future conservation efforts within each bioregion, including selection of appropriate conservation measures) differs in scope and depth from the analysis conducted in the establishment of individual MPAs. This report describes the types of analysis that can be undertaken and how the information is then used differently in developing MPA network design options and in establishing MPAs under the Oceans Act.

Box 1: Defining MPAs, MPA Establishment, and MPA Network Development

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