Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM)
Report on Canada’s Network of Marine Protected Areas
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
- Complete Text
- List of Acronyms
- Executive Summary
- Part A: Implementing the National Framework for Canada’s Network of MPAs
- Part B: Thematic Focus of the Report – Role of Socio-Economic and Cultural Analysis in MPA Network Development and MPA Establishment
- 1. Overview of the MPA Network Development Process
- 2. Integrating Socio-Economic and Cultural Analysis in MPA Network Design
- 3. Socio-Economic Analysis in MPA Establishment
- 4. Integrating Social and Cultural Analysis in MPA Network Design and MPA Establishment Processes
- Annex: Summary of Global Research on MPA Network Effectiveness
- Figure 1: Conserved Area of Canada’s Marine and Coastal Waters
- Figure 2: MPA Network Development Process
- Figure 3: Socio-Economic Analysis in Network Design and MPA Establishment
- Figure 4: The Network Development Process
- Figure 5: Process to Establish Oceans Act MPAs
- Box 1: Defining MPAs, MPA Establishment, and MPA Network Development
- Box 2: Five-Point Plan for Achieving Marine Conservation Targets
- Box 3: Defining Socio-Economic Analysis for Establishing Oceans Act MPAs
- Box 4: Examples of Possible MPA Network Conservation Measures
- Box 5: Types of Economic Data and Information Sources used for MPA Network Planning and MPA Establishment
- Box 6: Consultation and Engagement Activities during the Selection and Establishment of the St. Anns Bank MPA
- Box 7: How Decision-Support Software Works
- Box 8: Network Planning in the Western Arctic Bioregion
- Box 9: Balancing Conservation Objectives and Socio-Economic and Cultural Impacts
- Box 10: Establishing National Marine Conservation Areas
- Box 11: Example of Socio-Economic Analysis for Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam MPA
- Box 12: Laying the Groundwork for Marine Spatial Planning in British Columbia
- Box 13: Example of the Integration of Social, Cultural and Economic Information – Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area
List of Acronyms
- Area of Interest
- Cost-Benefit Analysis
- Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada
- Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area
- Environment and Climate Change Canada
- Inuvialuit Settlement Region
- International Union for the Conservation of Nature
- Marine Protected Area
- Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measure
- Oceans Task Group
- Parks Canada Agency
- Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement
- UN CBD (or CBD)
- United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity
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
- All responsible agencies should use their mandates, in accordance with each government’s jurisdiction and priorities, to make a meaningful contribution to MPA network development.
- In the spirit of transparency, all Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) reports on Oceans Act MPAs should be made available to the public on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) website.
- Conducting as much socio-economic and cultural analysis as possible, as early as possible in MPA network development processes, is important for informing selection of potential MPAs, determining relevant protection levels, and identifying appropriate legislative tools.
- All governments should continue to work together to achieve common marine protection and conservation goals.
- The broadest range of input, views and values from Indigenous knowledge holders and stakeholders should be sought as early as possible in MPA network development.
- National consistency in the application of the various tools and approaches to network development across all regions (including analysis of socio-economic and cultural activities that may be affected) needs to be promoted, and early and ongoing engagement of all parties in these processes is important.
- An adaptive management approach should recognize that ecosystems are dynamic and the values associated with their functions need to be quantified. To be effective at the MPA network and site levels, this approach, although costly, requires integrated monitoring and reporting.
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.
- The term “marine protected area” or MPA is used generically to refer to areas in marine waters that meet the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) definition of a protected area under federal, provincial or territorial legislative instruments. An “Oceans Act MPA” refers to a specific MPA designated under the Oceans Act.
- Establishing MPAs refers to developing protection for 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.
- The term “Oceans Act MPA establishment” refers to the specific process through which an Oceans Act MPA becomes regulated. The term “designation” is not used until the regulations designating the Oceans Act MPA come into effect.
- MPA network development is a four-stage process that culminates in establishment of an MPA network. An MPA network is a collection of individual MPAs and other conservation measures that function 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. Networks can be composed of Oceans Act MPAs, National Marine Conservation Areas, marine National Wildlife Areas, and marine portions of Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, National Parks, and Provincial and Territorial protected areas, as well as other effective area-based conservation measures such as marine refuges.
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