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Assessing the contribution of established protected areas towards meeting MPA network objectives in the Northern Shelf Bioregion
Abstract and Figures
As part of the marine protected area (MPA) network planning process in the Northern Shelf Bioregion of B.C. (NSB), the MPA technical team is reviewing 114 existing and 1 proposed marine protected areas to evaluate the degree to which each protected area meets ecological objectives for the network. • Because protected areas vary in their degree of protection, ongoing threats and pressures and biological composition, the capacity of the protected areas to effectively protect the ecological conservation priorities within their boundaries needs to be assessed. To take this variability into account, our team has developed a method that considers the potential cumulative effects of allowed and/or ongoing human activities on ecological conservation priorities within existing protected areas. • Using a set of ecological conservation targets that were developed for the network, we evaluate the proportion of the spatial area of each ecological conservation priority protected by the current and proposed MPAs, adjusted by the potential cumulative effects from allowable human activities within the planning area.
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