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Guidance and Lessons Learned for Canada's Marine Protected Area Networks

Guidance and Lessons Learned for Canada's Marine Protected Area Networks: Proceedings of a national workshop held in Ottawa in January 2008

Guidance and Lessons Learned for Canada's Marine Protected Area Networks: Proceedings of a national workshop held in Ottawa in January 2008 (PDF, 2.06 MB)

Proceedings of a national workshop held in Ottawa in January 2008


Fisheries and Oceans Canada and World Wildlife Fund Canada would like to thank all the experts who helped us plan the workshop and came to share their experience in planning marine protected area networks. We would also like to thank Fanny Douvere and Charles Ehler for helping us capture the discussions that took place throughout the workshop and for providing a first draft of this summary report.


The views captured in this report represent those of the authors and presenters and do not necessarily reflect the views of Fisheries and Oceans Canada or the Government of Canada.

Recommended citation:

Fisheries and Oceans Canada and WWF-Canada. 2009. Guidance and Lessons Learned for Canada's Marine Protected Areas Networks: Proceedings of a national workshop held in Ottawa in January 2008.

Photo credits:

SGaan Kinghlas-Bowie Seamount underwater view (top): Neil McDaniel

Clown Nudibranch, Strait of Georgia: M. Heibert

© 1986 Panda symbol WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature (also known as World Wildlife Fund)

® "WWF" is a WWF Registered Trademark


In November 1994 the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans issued A Vision for Ocean Management, which highlighted the need for an oceans-management strategy and oceans legislation. Following an extensive period of consultation and parliamentary committee debate, the Oceans Act came into force on 31 January 1997. The Act established Canada as the first country with comprehensive oceans-management legislation. Canada has begun to implement its Oceans Act through a series of integrated management activities in priority areas, using area-based management tools such as marine protected areas.

Canada committed nationally and internationally to establish marine protected area networks. This commitment has been identified as a key deliverable under the federal Health of the Oceans initiative (2007) and Canada's Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy (2005). Fisheries and Oceans Canada is the Government of Canada lead for the establishment of Canada's system of marine protected areas, working in cooperation with Parks Canada Agency, Environment Canada, and provincial and territorial agencies with a mandate to conserve and protect marine areas, as well as with First Nations and Aboriginal groups, industries, non-governmental organizations and other interest groups.

This workshop gave these Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial authorities, Aboriginal organizations and national level stakeholders an opportunity to jointly access and explore the growing body of international knowledge and experience in the planning of marine protected area networks. It represents the first of many steps to come in building Canada's marine protected area networks in an inclusive, coordinated, and complementary fashion.

Martine Landry for Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Jennifer Smith for World Wildlife Fund-Canada



German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation


Convention on Biological Diversity


Conference of the Parties


Fisheries and Oceans Canada


Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area


Exclusive Economic Zone


European Union


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


Great Barrier Reef Marine Park


International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (World Conservation Union)


Large Ocean Management Area


Migratory Bird Sanctuary


Marine and Coastal Protected Area


Marine Environment Classification


Marine Life Protection Act (California)


Marine Protected Area *


Marine Protection Planning Forum


Marine Wildlife Area


Non-governmental Organization


National Marine Conservation Area †


National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas


National Wildlife Area


New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy


Oslo-Paris Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic


Program of Work


Special Area of Conservation


Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice


Site of Community Importance


Special Protection Area


World Commission on Protected Areas

* In this document, the term "marine protected area (MPA)" is used in a generic sense and not to refer to any one specific legislative or regulatory mechanism - unless otherwise noted.

† While the Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy applies to the ocean environment, it is recognized that Parks Canada Agency's NMCA program also includes the Great Lakes.

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