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


Central to this strategy is the recognition that MPA networks must build upon both formal arrangements and informal interactions and norms between many different parties that are in place or developing on the Pacific Coast. Network planning must also recognize the legal obligations and commitments to First Nations in regards to decision-making (e.g., British Columbia's New Relationship approach to shared decision-making).

Existing First Nations, local, provincial, or federal ocean and/or coastal management processes or integrated marine spatial planning initiatives can serve as a venue for discussion and/or collaborative recommendations related to the planning and implementation of bioregional MPA networks. New governance frameworks may need to be developed or modified where they do not exist or where they are not inclusive of key partners. Best practices related to transparency and accountability in engagement and decision-making will be critical to ensuring effective governance (Sidebar 2) of processes and outcomes.

marine ecosystem




What is (Good) Governance?


  • Is the formal and informal arrangements, structures and processes by which an organization (or initiative) is directed, controlled and held to account.
  • Governance is about where to go, who should be involved in deciding and in what capacity.
  • Models of governance include top–down, bottom–up, comanagement and traditional management regimes.

Good Governance

  • Is participatory, transparent, accountable, inclusive, resilient, effective, efficient, responsive and sustainable.
  • Promotes fairness.
  • Provides a long-term perspective grounded in historical, cultural and social complexities.
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