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Canadian Protected Areas - Status Report 2006-2011

Chapter 1: The numbers as of 2011

Context

Protected areas represent the backbone of Canada's effort to conserve biodiversity: federal, provincial and territorial governments, private organizations and individuals, indigenous and community groups across the country protect about 1 million square kilometres of land and freshwater, totalling 10% of Canada's land mass, and nearly 50 000 square kilometres of marine waters, or approximately 1% of Canada's ocean area.

Canadians have been setting aside areas for the protection of nature since 1876 when the first park was established on Mount Royal in Montréal, Quebec. Banff, our first national park, was established in 1885, and Last Mountain Lake, our first bird sanctuary and the first wildlife reserve in North America, was established in 1887. The first marine areas protected in Canada were the marine portions of Bird Rocks Migratory Bird Sanctuary and Bonaventure Island and Percé Rock Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Quebec in 1919. Today, Canadian government organizations administer more than 5900 terrestrial and marine protected areas, including pristine wilderness areas, parks that provide conservation benefits and public enjoyment, ecological reserves for scientific study, and areas that protect unique terrestrial and marine habitats and species.

The first chapter of this status report outlines some basic facts about protected areas in Canada as of the end of 2011. It answers such questions as:

  • How much do we have?
  • How does this compare to the total area of our lands, freshwaters and oceans?
  • How have these numbers changed since the last reporting period in 2000-2005?
  • Where are the protected areas?
  • Who manages them?
  • How do Canada's protected areas compare to those in other countries?

International Targets For Protected Area Coverage

  • 2002: "By 2010 at least 10% of each of the world's ecological regions should be effectively conserved"-CBD Conference of the Parties 6, The Hague, The Netherlands; Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (CBD, 2002)
  • 2004: "At least 10% of each of the world's ecological regions effectively conserved"-CBD Conference of the Parties 7, Kuala Lampur, Malaysia; Decision VII/30, Target 1.1 (CBD, 2004a)
  • 2004: "Adopts the programme of work on protected areas annexed to the present decision with the objective of the establishment and maintenance by 2010 for terrestrial and by 2012 for marine areas of comprehensive, effectively managed and ecologically representative national and regional systems of protected areas …"
    -CBD Conference of the Parties 7; Kuala Lampur, Malaysia; Decision VII/28 (CBD, 2004)
  • 2010: "By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well- connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes."-CBD Conference of the Parties 10; Nagoya, Japan; Aichi Biodiversity Targets, Target 11 (CBD, 2010)

See Appendix 2 for the complete list of CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas goals and Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Canada's National Target

In 2015 Canada adopted national biodiversity goals and targets for 2020 which complement the international goals and targets. Protected area reporting will form the basis for measuring progress toward Canada's 2020 Biodiversity Target 1: By 2020, at least 17 percent of terrestrial areas and inland water, and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas, are conserved through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.

Table 1. A sample of Canada's protected areas since confederation

Fact
Area name
The first municipal park for conservation in Canada
Mount Royal, Montréal, Quebec (1876)
The first national park in Canada
Banff National Park, Alberta (1885)
The first waterfowl refuge in Canada
Last Mountain Lake, Saskatchewan (1887)
The first provincial park in Canada
Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario (1893)
The first MPAs in Canada
Bird Rocks Bird Sanctuary, Quebec (1919) Bonaventure Island and Percé Rock, Quebec (1919)
The first interprovincial park in Canada
Cypress Hills Interprovincial  Park, Alberta/Saskatchewan  (1989)
The first offshore Oceans Act MPA in Canada
Endeavour Hydrothermal Vents Marine Protected Area (2003)
The largest protected area in Canada
Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Nunavut (6 278 200 ha)
The smallest protected area in Canada
Christie Islet Migratory Bird Sanctuary, British Columbia (0.08 ha)
Canada's most southerly protected area
Point Pelee National Park, Ontario (42° N)
The most northerly (and driest) protected area in Canada
Quttinirpaaq National Park, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut (82.06° N)
The most easterly protected area in Canada
Witless Bay Seabird Ecological Reserve, Newfoundland and Labrador (52.8° E)
The most westerly protected areas in Canada
Ivvavik National Park, Yukon (141° W) Kluane Game Sanctuary, Yukon (141° W) Kluane National  Park Reserve, Yukon (141° W) Vuntut National Park, Yukon (141° W)
The highest protected area in Canada
Kluane National  Park Reserve, Yukon (Mount Logan, Canada's highest peak at 5 959 metres, is found here.)

Extent And Growth Of Protected Areas

Canada's terrestrial protected area system has grown by 9.4% since the last reporting period, from 908 244 km2 in 2005 to 993 242 km2 in 2011. Canada's MPA system has grown by 60.0% from 30 900 km2 in 2005 to 49 364 km2 in 2011 (Figure 1). Table Footnote 2

  • Canada has protected 10.0% of its lands and fresh waters (8.7% in permanent protected areas and 1.3% in interim Table Footnote 3 protected areas), an increase from 9.4% in 2005. Canada has protected 0.9% of its marine territory (including internal marine waters, territorial seas and the Exclusive Economic Zone), an increase from 0.6% in 2005 (Figure 2).
  • A total of 1 197 new terrestrial and marine protected areas were added to Canada's protected areas system since 2005, covering 103 462 km2. This brings the total number of protected areas to 5 922 in 2011 (Table 2, Table 3 and Map 1).

Canada's Marine Territory

Canada's marine territory is measured from a linear baseline created from control points along the official low-water, marine shoreline. Ocean seaward of the baseline is considered "offshore waters." This includes 0.2 million square kilometres of territorial sea that extends 12 nautical miles from the baseline, and a total of 2.9 million square kilometres for the Exclusive Economic Zone that extends 200 nautical miles from the baseline.

Marine (i.e., salt water) areas landward of the baseline are considered "internal waters," including bays and harbours, and cover 2.5 million square kilometres.

Figure 1: Extent and growth of protected areas

Extent and growth of protected areas

Long description for Figure 1
AreaTerrestrial protected area (km2)
2005
Terrestrial protected area (km2)
2011
Marine protected area (km2)
2005
Marine protected area (km2)
2011
Interim area126 628127 016n/an/a
Permanent area781 616866 226n/an/a
Total area908 244993 242 (9.4% increase)30 90049 364 (60% increase)

Note: The boundaries of the islands changed over time due to shoreline erosion and land flooding. The current configuration of the islands does not correspond to the original official boundaries of the NWA because portions of the territory have been submerged.

Figure 2: Canada's 2011 protected terrestrial and marine area in proportion to total area

Canada's 2011 protected terrestrial and marine area in proportion to total area

Long description for Figure 2

Two graphics representing (a) the size of Canada's total terrestrial area compared with the size of its terrestrial protected area; and (b) the size of Canada's total marine area compared with the size of its marine protected area.

  • Total terrestrial area: 10.1 million square kilometres
    • Total terrestrial protected area: 10%
  • Total marine area: 5.6 million square kilometres
    • Total marine protected area: 0.9%

Note: The boundaries of the islands changed over time due to shoreline erosion and land flooding. The current configuration of the islands does not correspond to the original official boundaries of the NWA because portions of the territory have been submerged.

Table 2: Summary of terrestrial protected areas in each province and territory Table Footnote a
Provincial and territorialNumber of Protected AreasArea permanently protected (km2)Area under interim protection (km2)Total Area protected (km2)percent of terrestrial territory protected
Alberta Table Footnote b26382 140-82 14012.4%
British Columbia1 035135 145696135 84114.4%
Manitoba Table Footnote c30662 7013 25065 95110.2%
New Brunswick732 234-2 2343.1%
Newfoundland and Labrador6318 535-18 5354.6%
Northwest Territories32119 205940120 1458.9%
Nova Scotia744 598-4 5988.4%
Nunavut29208 588-208 58810.0%
Ontario665109 922-109 92210.2%
Prince Edward Island134159-1592.8%
Quebec2 43920 582113 543134 1258.9%
Saskatchewan75151 588-51 5887.9%
Yukon2248 7088 58757 29511.9%
Parks Canada Agency Table Footnote d110 000010 000not applicable
Canada Total (Terrestrial)5 884 Table Footnote e873 96713 473993 243 Table Footnote f10.0%

Table 2: Summary of terrestrial protected Footnotes

Footnote 1

See the Preamble for an explanation of which private protected areas are included.

Return to Footnote a referrer

Footnote 2

Alberta does not recognize or count Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's community pastures at this time.

Return to Footnote b referrer

Footnote 3

Manitoba does not recognize or count Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's community pastures at this time.

Return to Footnote c referrer

Footnote 4

Parks Canada Agency is listed separately to include Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, which is located in freshwater, and therefore listed as terrestrial, but is not within the geographic extent of a provincial or territorial government.

Return to Footnote d referrer

Footnote 5

This number cannot be added to the total number of MPAs to get a national total, since many are portions of protected areas that are partly marine and already counted in the terrestrial columns. The total area, however, can be summed.

Return to Footnote e referrer

Footnote 6

This total for Canada is slightly different from the total found elsewhere in the document due to rounding differences.

Return to Footnote f referrer

Table 3: Summary of marine protected areas in Canada
AdministratorNumber of MPAsMarine area protected (km2)Proportion of total MPA Table Footnote g
British Columbia1792 786.05.6%
Manitoba182.20.2%
Quebec4413 452.07.0%
Prince Edward Island4713.60.0%
New Brunswick20.40.0%
Newfoundland and Labrador6152.00.3%
Quebec and Parks Canada Agency11 245.32.5%
Environment Canada5719 589.039.7%
Parks Canada Agency1411 642.723.6%
Fisheries and Oceans Canada810 406.521.1%
Canada Total756 Table Footnote h49 369.7100.0%

Table 3

Footnote 7

The proportion is shown here rather than the percentage of a particular geographic/political area, since no geographic areas within Canada's marine waters have targets or totals reported.

Return to Footnote g referrer

Footnote 8

This number cannot be added to the total number of terrestrial protected areas in Canada to find the total because some of the MPAs are part of single protected areas that are partially marine and partially terrestrial. Counting both components would double count those sites. The area totals can be summed, however.

Return to Footnote h referrer

Map 1: Canada's Protected Areas Network

Protected areas of Canada

Long description for Map 1

A map of all of Canada's protected areas, which defines each protected area according to one of 8 IUCN categories. The map legend defines the IUCN categories as: Category Ia, Category Ib, Category II, Category III, Category IV, Category V, Category VI, and Unclassified. Source: Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System (CARTS) – 2011.12.31.

The federal government administers 42% by area of Canada's terrestrial protected area among three agencies: Parks Canada Agency, Environment Canada, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The provinces and territories administer most of the remainder (Figure 3).

The federal government administers over 90% by area of Canada's MPA among three departments: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Parks Canada Agency and Environment Canada. The provinces administer most of the remaining (Table 3).

Provincial governments are increasingly recognizing privately held and managed conservation lands as an integral component of protected area networks. However, formal reporting of protected areas within this governance type is not yet systematic.Text Content Footnote 4 To date, five provinces report private conservation lands totalling about 1755 km2 in their protected areas systems or networks, and many organizations across Canada are working to identify and add the contribution of private lands to protected area strategies.

Aboriginal peoples have contributed to the establishment of tens of thousands of square kilometres of protected areas designated during the reporting period 2006-2011, through modern land claims, treaties, other agreements or collaborative land use plans; examples are described throughout this report. In fact, most current protected area establishment in Canada involves working together with Aboriginal organizations and communities to conserve biodiversity and cultural heritage, to cooperate on protected area management and to share the benefits of protected areas. However, more work needs to be done to accurately reflect this reality within protected area accounting systems.

The growth rate of the terrestrial protected area system slowed to an average of 2.8% per year in 2006-2011, from 5.3% per year in 2000-2005. In contrast, the growth rate of Canada's MPA system climbed to an average of 11.5% per year in 2006-2011, from 4.6% per year in 2000-2005. Figure 4 illustrates the cumulative growth over time for terrestrial and marine protected areas combined.

Figure 3: Who manages terrestrial protected area in Canada?

Graphic showing percentage of terrestrial protected area management in Canada

Long description for Figure 3

A pie chart representing the relative proportions (percentages) of protected areas in Canada managed by 5 different jurisdictions

Provinces and territories58.1%
Federal: Parks Canada Agency30.3%
Federal: Environment Canada10.5%
Federal: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (community pastures)0.9%
Private lands0.2%

Figure 4: Growth of Canada's total marine (light purple) and terrestrial (dark purple) protected area over time

Graphic representing Growth of Canada's total marine (light purple) and terrestrial (dark purple) protected area

Long description for Figure 4

A bar chart representing cumulative terrestrial and marine protected area over time.

YearMarine (km2)Terrestrial (km2
1876015165.91105
1877015165.91105
1878015165.91105
1879015165.91105
1880015165.91105
1881015165.91105
1882015165.91105
1883015165.91105
1884015165.91105
1885021806.91105
1886024469.01105
1887024517.44055
1888024517.44055
1889024517.44055
1890024517.44055
1891024517.44055
1892024517.44055
1893032240.44055
1894032272.98055
1895032777.98055
1896032777.98055
1897032777.98055
1898032777.98055
1899032777.98055
1900032800.82995
1901032800.82995
1902032800.82995
1903032800.82995
1904032800.82995
1905032800.82995
1906032800.82995
1907043678.82995
1908043678.82995
1909043678.82995
1910043678.82995
19117.146130.21995
19127.146130.21995
19137.153295.84995
19147.153581.84995
19157.153581.84995
19167.153581.84995
19177.153581.84995
19187.153597.04995
191921.87753621.24095
192021.87755027.64095
192121.87755030.87095
192221.877103864.9827
192321.877103868.5083
192421.877103868.5083
1925295.9748104679.4671
1926295.9748104679.5197
1927303.745164361.2826
1928303.745164365.7826
1929303.745164365.9026
1930303.745167359.2026
1931303.745167368.7024
1932303.745167369.83
1933303.745167369.92
1934303.745167373.22
1935303.745167373.22
1936303.745168362.8254
1937306.4842169214.8758
1938306.4842180816.6258
1939367.4742187391.0362
1940367.4742188542.8662
19411916.4681192731.6818
19421916.4681192788.7218
19431916.4681193067.3918
19441926.8225195054.9897
19451926.8225195212.5689
19461926.8225195290.9389
19471926.8225195294.3489
19481926.8225195669.6129
19491926.8225195890.2933
19501927.0925196080.2633
19511927.0925196303.4769
19521927.0925196721.824
19531927.0925196784.1868
19541927.1325197114.683
19551941.1125197290.845
19561941.1125197417.6353
19573533.2273206516.6384
19583538.8988206879.7786
19594018.1945213796.2005
19604150.7082214205.2803
196111860.6795293356.542
196211860.9595293671.9531
196311860.9595294250.6934
196411994.9595296050.4547
196513760.3854308096.8298
196613788.5564308209.2773
196713805.0551309448.5149
196813805.1151309883.4809
196913805.1751311468.4531
197013807.2851338343.6885
197113937.8501341020.7256
197213939.151348785.6896
197314048.241356948.1826
197414058.211360568.1375
197514113.0532368257.3982
197615270.5596408652.1893
197715270.5596409913.5645
197815284.8417410321.6273
197915328.4411410768.3204
198015337.1336410866.803
198115783.8136414877.4623
198215796.2936415007.0887
198315796.2936434574.8621
198415874.2936459219.8705
198516089.1195464352.7187
198616135.3783472134.99
198716211.2983478442.6684
198818561.9483514010.1695
198918566.8053522054.4032
199018570.5753525701.6256
199118596.8729526200.2102
199218956.8611526722.6268
199318979.0281537549.5441
199418985.9901541785.8612
199520764.7681581490.3934
199621622.5923600595.5578
199721638.5593612225.3303
199822962.5263641876.9299
199922963.2633653524.8537
200022964.3393665423.2364
200123458.3963723938.1592
200223459.1263747686.0126
200326780.6063806190.1012
200429181.1383816014.4375
200529252.8483847113.4629
200629536.8503852495.1842
200729568.4503877583.6299
200836607.9203923490.9348
200936690.1903977342.0223
201045911.785984990.9521
201145911.9141001274.366

Extent Of Protected Areas In Canada's Natural Regions

The proportion of protected area in terrestrial ecological regions varies from 1.8% in the Mixedwood Plain ecozone, to an average of 11.1% across the 3 boreal ecozones, to 26.0% in the Arctic Cordillera ecozone. The amount of protected area in marine bioregions varies between 0% and 5.3%, with 10 of 12 bioregions having 2.0% protection or less (Table 4, Table 5, Map 2 and Map 3).

Almost half of Canada's terrestrial ecozones (7 of 15), primarily in the north and west of the country, have at least 10% of their area conserved by protected areas. A comparable area, including the interior boreal zones and much of the arctic barrens, is included in another 6 of the 15 ecozones (Table 4 and Map 2).

All but one of Canada's 15 terrestrial ecozones (the exception is the Northern Arctic ecozone Table Footnote 5) have shown an increase in the percentage of total area protected since 2005, as shown in Table 4. The largest increase was in the Pacific Maritime ecozone, which changed from 12.4% to 20.3% protected, an increase of nearly 8%. The average change since 2005 was approximately +2% (Table 4).

Canada's marine bioregions include 4 (of 12) with more than 2% protected (all off the west coast) and 3 others with between 0.5 and 2% protected. Two marine bioregions have relatively minor amounts protected (Table 5 and Map 3).

The overall amount of marine area protected has more than doubled between 2005 and 2011, from an average of 0.8% to 1.7%. The greatest relative change was in the Northern Shelf marine bioregion, which grew from 0.4% to 5.3%. The average change was 0.9% total area protected, with various amounts of change occurring around the country.

Canada's Natural Regions

A number of spatial frameworks have been created over the years to better understand, plan and manage natural regions across Canada. This report uses two such frameworks:

  • National Ecological Framework for Canada: A hierarchical classification of ecosystems including ecozones, ecoprovinces, ecoregions and ecodistricts. Canada is subdivided into 15 terrestrial ecozones on the basis of ecological characteristics. For more information, see PDF file
  • Canada's Marine Bioregions: Table Footnote 6 High-level spatial units that have been identified for each of Canada's three oceans and are based on oceanographic and bathymetric similarities. For more information, see PDF file
Table 4 representing data numbers for Figure 4 below.
Ecozone namePercent protected in 2005Percent protected in 2011Change
1.  Arctic Cordillera22.6%26.0%3.4%
2.  Northern Arctic7.4%6.8%-0.6%
3.  Southern Arctic15.9%16.5%0.6%
4.  Taiga Plains4.9%7.3%2.4%
5.  Taiga Shield4.0%6.2%2.3%
6.  Boreal Shield7.4%8.9%1.6%
7.  Atlantic Maritime4.3%5.6%1.3%
8.  Mixedwood Plain0.4%1.8%1.4%
9.  Boreal Plains8.1%9.1%1.0%
10.  Prairie3.5%6.0%2.5%
11.  Taiga Cordillera10.3%12.8%2.6%
12.  Boreal Cordillera14.3%15.2%0.9%
13.  Pacific Maritime12.4%20.3%8.0%
14.  Montane Cordillera16.5%17.2%0.7%
15.  Hudson Plains10.4%12.1%1.7%

Table 4: Percent of Canada's 15 terrestrial ecozones protected

Percent of Canada's 15 terrestrial ecozones protected

Long description for Figure 4

A bar chart representing cumulative terrestrial and marine protected area over time; the horizontal axis is years from 1876 to 2011, and the vertical axis is area in square kilometres from 0 to over one million. Marine and terrestrial areas are denoted separately.

Map 2: Canada's Protected Areas Network

Protected areas of Canada

Long description for Map 2

A map of the percent of Canada's terrestrial ecozones protected in 2011. Boundaries of the 15 different terrestrial ecozones are demarcated. The 15 different ecozones fall into one of 4 categories, which appear on the map legend as:

  • 0 - 6% protected area
  • 6 - 12% protected area
  • 12 - 15% protected area
  • and greater than 15% protected area.
Table 5 representing data numbers for Figure 5 below.
Bioregion namePercent protected in   protected in 2005 Table Footnote iPercent protected in   protected in 2011 Table Footnote jChange
1.  Strait of Georgia3.1%3.9%+0.8%
2.  Southern Shelf2.4%2.5%+0.1%
3.  Offshore Pacific0.03%2.0%+2.0%
4.  Northern Shelf0.4%5.3%+4.9%
5.  Arctic Basin0.02%0.02%0%
6.  Western Arctic1.3%1.8%+0.5%
7.  Arctic Archipelago0.00%0.8%+0.8%
8.  Eastern Arctic0.02%1.1%+1.1%
9.  Hudson Bay Complex0.4%0.7%+0.3%
10.  Newfoundland-Labrador Shelves0.02%0.02%0%
11.  Scotian Shelf0.6%0.6%0%
12.  Gulf of Saint Lawrence1.4%1.7%+0.3%

Table 5

Footnote 9

Les données pour 2005 proviennent du Conseil canadien des aires écologiques (CCAE).

Return to Footnote i referrer

Footnote 10

Les données pour 2011 proviennent du site des données sur les aires de conservation dans les eaux marines et les Grands Lacs d'Environnement Canada.

Return to Footnote j referrer

Figure 5: Percent of Canada's 12 marine bioregions protected

Percent of Canada's 12 marine bioregions protected

Long description for Figure 5

A pie chart with the relative proportions (percentages) of terrestrial protected areas in Canada that fall into 7 IUCN categories ; from largest to smallest: Category II, Category Ib, Category VI, Category IV, Category not known yet, Category Ia, Category III and Category V.

Map 3: Percent of Canada's marine bioregions protected in 2011

Protected areas of Canada

Long description for Map 3

A map of the percent of Canada's marine bioregions protected in 2011. Boundaries of the 12 different marine bioregions are demarcated. The 12 different bioregions fall into one of 6 categories, which appear on the map legend as:

  • 0 - 1% protected area
  • 1 - 2% protected area
  • 2 - 3% protected area
  • 3 - 4% protected area
  • 4 - 5% protected area
  • and 5 - 6% protected area.

Extent Of Protected Areas In IUCN Management Categories And IUCN Governance Types Table Footnote 7

The vast majority (94%) of Canada's terrestrial protected area falls into the IUCN management categories representing the highest protection levels (Ia to IV) (Figure 5 and Figure 6). These categories intend to provide the most rigorous land and water access and use constraints and prohibit industrial activities or commercial resource extraction. This compares to 95% of lands within Canada's terrestrial protected areas that were classified within IUCN management categories I-IV in 2005. Table Footnote 8

More than half (52%) of terrestrial protected areas are classified within IUCN management category II. These are primarily comprised of large national, provincial and territorial parks and other conservation areaswith public access as a key function.

More than 37% of terrestrial protected areas are in category Ib, a high level of protection that intendsto recognize and retain large wilderness areas where natural ecosystem processes still function with little disturbance. These include a number of large federal bird sanctuaries as well as numerous provincial and territorial parks across the country.

Approximately 5% of Canada's terrestrial protected areas are in category V or VI. These categories permit a limited amount of resource extraction or industrial activity with the proviso that these activities conform with the overall intent to keep biodiversity conservation as the primary management goal for the area (Figure 5 and Figure 6).

Fisheries and Oceans Canada MPAs fit the IUCN definition of a protected area but have not yet been categorized into specific categories due to the unique, multi-dimensional complexities of ocean zone planning and management. These areas are included in the "category not yet known" parts of Figures 5 and 6. New guidelines for applying IUCN categories to marine areas were released by the IUCN in 2012 and will inform the next version of CCEA's guidelines for applying IUCN categories in the Canadian context.

Many of the remaining MPAs are portions or zones of protected areas that also have large terrestrial components. In those cases, the entire protected area has been given the IUCN category of the terrestrial component. In most cases, this is done because the marine zones do not have a separate management plan.

In 2008, the IUCN provided guidance for the first time on categorizing protected areas according to the type of governance (see Preamble). Current reporting indicates that the vast majority (95.5% by area) of terrestrial protected areas in Canada fall into the IUCN governance category of "governance by government" (Figure 7). It is anticipated that these numbers will change in the future as organizations update their reporting mechanisms to better reflect the protected areas that fall within shared governance, private governance, and governance by indigenous peoples and local communities.

Prairie Ecosystem Protection In Saskatchewan Using IUCN Management Category VI

A unique aspect of protected areas in Saskatchewan is the higher-than-average percent of areas in IUCN management category VI. Efforts to protect prairie ecosystems have resulted in setting aside nearly 15 000 km2 of Crown land dedicated to protection and management for agriculture and wildlife. These lands include predominantly native prairie or parkland ecosystems, mostly leased for grazing cattle. They are legally protected to conserve native habitat with strict guidelines for select development and may not be sold. Likewise, approximately 3 300 km2 of provincially operated community pastures are managed for grazing and biodiversity. Prairie ecosystems were once home to massive herds of bison. These wild animals have been replaced by domestic cattle, which now simulate the disturbance bison once provided and utilize a valuable natural resource.

Figure 5: Terrestrial protected area by IUCN management category

Graphic representing Terrestrial protected area by IUCN management category

Long description for Figure 5
IUCN category Ia1.0%
IUCN category Ib37.7%
IUCN category II52.3%
IUCN category III0.4%
IUCN category IV2.2%
IUCN category V0.2%
IUCN category VI4.5%
Category not known yet1.8%

Figure 6: Marine and terrestrial protected areas by IUCN management category

Marine and terrestrial protected areas by IUCN management category

Long description for Figure 6
Geographic territoryPercent of jurisdiction protected
IUCN I - IV
Percent of jurisdiction protected
IUCN V - VI
Percent of jurisdiction protected
Interim or Uncategorized
Percent of jurisdiction protected
Total
Yukon10.1%0.0%1.8%11.8%
Saskatchewan4.1%3.9%0.0%8.0%
Quebec8.0%0.3%0.0%8.4%
Prince Edward Island2.8%0.0%0.0%2.8%
Ontario9.3%0.9%0.0%10.2%
Nunavut10.0%0.0%0.0%10.0%
Nova Scotia8.3%0.0%0.0%8.4%
Northwest Territories8.4%0.0%0.5%8.9%
Newfoundland and Labrador4.2%0.4%0.0%4.6%
New Brunswick3.1%0.0%0.0%3.1%
Manitoba9.6%0.0%0.5%10.1%
British Columbia14.3%0.0%0.1%14.4%
Alberta12.4%0.0%0.0%12.4%
Canada (all Prov/Terr)9.4%0.4%0.2%10.0%

Figure 7: Proportion by area of terrestrial protected areas by IUCN governance type

Proportion by area of terrestrial protected areas by IUCN governance type

Long description for Figure 7
Governance by government95.4%
Shared governance4.2%
Private governance0.2%
Governance by indigenous peoples and local communities0.18%

A Global Perspective (2010) Table Footnote 9 Table Footnote 10

Canada ranks 26th out of 34 OECD countries in terms of the percent of terrestrial area (i.e., lands and freshwater) protected, above the 29th position it held in 2005. Canada ranks 23rd out of 34 OECD countries in terms of the percent of marine area protected, which is the same relative standing as in 2005.

Canada manages 5.8% of the world's terrestrial protected areas, up from 5.1% reported in 2005. Canada manages 3.4% of the world's MPAs, up from 1.4% as reported in 2005.

Among OECD countries, Canada ranks second out of 34 in terms of the total extent of protected areas, with 975 816 km2 of lands and freshwaters protected in 2010. The United States ranks first with 1.16 million km2 set aside, and Australia is third with 814 699 km2.

Among OECD countries, Canada ranks 26th out of 34 in terms of the percent of lands and freshwaters protected, with 9.7%, behind the United States, which is ranked 22nd with 12.4%, Mexico with 11.1%, and Australia with 10.6%. Germany is ranked first with 42.4% protected (Figure 8).

Canada ranks 23rd among 34 OECD countries in terms of percent of marine waters protected, with 0.9%, behind the United States, which is ranked second with 28.6%, Australia with 28.3%, and Mexico with 16.7%. Germany is ranked first with 40.3% (Figure 9).

While many countries around the world currently report on the full suite of IUCN protected areas categories, the community of practice in Canada has not yet fully assessed protected areas in Category V and VI. Ongoing work in Canada in this respect, led by the CCEA, will enable reporting on the full extent of our protected area networks.

Text Content Footnote 10 Statistics included in this section are calculated using CARTS data for Canada for 2010 (v. 2010.10.10), and Millennium Development Goals Indicators data for 2010 for other OECD countries (UN, no date).

Text Content Footnote 11 The previous protected areas status report included a comparison of the percentage of highly protected lands (i.e., IUCN categories I to IV), but the source data have not been updated since then, so no similar comparison can be made for this report.

Figure 8: Terrestrial protected areas--Global comparison of per cent of land and fresh water protected by various OECD Countries (country name labels show their rank from among a sample of 34 OECD countries) (See footnote Table Footnote 9 for reference information.)

Terrestrial protected areas—Global comparison of per cent of land and fresh water protected

Long description for Figure 8
CountryTerrestrial protected area (percent)Rank
Germany42.4%1
Poland22.4%7
Japan16.5%14
Slovenia13.2%20
United States12.4%22
Mexico11.1%23
Sweden10.9%24
Australia10.6%25
Canada9.7%26
Finland9.0%27
Turkey1.9%33

Figure 9: Marine protected areas--Global comparison of per cent of marine waters protected (country name labels include their rank among 34 OECD countries) (See footnote Table Footnote 9 on page 16 for reference information.)

Marine protected areas—Global comparison of per cent of marine waters protected

Long description for Figure 9
CountryMarine waters protectedRank
Germany40.3%1
United States28.6%2
Australia28.3%3
Mexico16.7%8
Japan5.6%11
Sweden5.3%12
Finland5.0%13
Poland4.1%14
Turkey2.4%21
Canada0.8%23
Slovenia0.7%24

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Text Content Footnote

Footnote2

Information for 2005 contained in this Status Report draws wherever possible from CARTS, which has been updated since the publication of the Canadian Protected Areas Status Report 2000–2005.

Return to Footnote 2 referrer

Footnote3

Interim protected areas are sites that have been provided with temporary legal protection within legally described boundaries. They are included in CARTS and in this report if an agreement exists for the eventual permanent protection of the site, although final negotiations sometimes result in different boundaries and/or management policy.

Return to Footnote 3 referrer

Footnote4

Private conservation lands contribute more to Canada's total protected area than indicated in Figure 3. However, as discussed elsewhere, only five provinces (SK, MB, QC, NB and PE) include private lands as part of their protected area network in CARTS at this time.

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Footnote5

The decrease in protected area in the Northern Arctic ecozone was likely due to the final boundary adjustments to large interim protected areas during the final stages of their establishment process.

Return to Footnote 5 referrer

Footnote6

See the Preamble for a description of these IUCN classification systems.

Return to Footnote 6 referrer

Footnote7

This decrease is likely due to changes in boundaries of protected lands and waters during final negotiations in the establishment of large protected areas in the north.

Return to Footnote 7 referrer

Footnote8

Statistics included in this section are calculated using CARTS data for Canada for 2010 (v. 2010.10.10), and Millennium Development Goals Indicators data for 2010 for other OECD countries (UN, no date).

Return to Footnote 8 referrer

Footnote9

The previous protected areas status report included a comparison of the percentage of highly protected lands (i.e., IUCN categories I to IV), but the source data have not been updated since then, so no similar comparison can be made for this report.

Return to Footnote 9 referrer

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