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National Framework for Canada's Network of Marine Protected Areas

National Framework for Canada's Network of Marine Protected Areas

National Framework for Canada's Network of Marine Protected Areas (PDF, 845 KB)

Table of Contents

8. Guiding Principles

All stages in the development of Canada's network of marine protected areas will be guided by the following principles:

  1. Coherent approach. Where possible, ensure that networks of marine protected areas are linked to broader Integrated Oceans Management initiatives, including those in adjacent marine and terrestrial areas. Capitalize on the potential of established and proposed MPAs and other spatial conservation measures to achieve marine protected area network goals.
  2. Respect existing rights and activities:
    1. respect federal / provincial / territorial government mandates and authorities;
    2. respect relevant provisions of applicable land claims agreements and treaties; and
    3. take into consideration harvesting by Aboriginal groups and others, and other activities carried out in accordance with existing licenses, regulations and legal agreements.
  3. Ensure open and transparent processes. Employ open, transparent and inclusive processes, with opportunities for partnership, participation, consultation and timely information exchange. Enhance awareness, promote benefits, and encourage public support.
  4. Take socio-economic considerations into account. Once the ecological conservation needs have been identified, consider socio-economic information to achieve an optimal, cost-effective network design and also to plan individual new network MPAs.
  5. Apply appropriate protection measures. Ensure that the level of protection afforded is appropriate to the stated goals for the network. Network MPAs should have a high enough level of protection that ecosystems are functioning naturally and are not significantly affected by human activities.
  6. Conform to best management practices. Apply the precautionary approach; apply sustainable development, integrated oceans management and ecosystem-based management principles; utilize the full suite of best available knowledge (i.e., scientific, traditional, industry, community, etc.); and practice adaptive management (i.e., adjust management policies and practices on an ongoing basis in response to new ecological or socio-economic information and emerging issues with respect to network design or implementation).
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