Canadian Protected Areas Status Report 2006 to 2011: chapter 1


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 Footnote2

  • Canada has protected 10.0% of its lands and fresh waters (8.7% in permanent protected areas and 1.3% in interim Table Footnote3 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
Area Terrestrial protected area (km2)
2005
Terrestrial protected area (km2)
2011
Marine protected area (km2)
2005
Marine protected area (km2)
2011
Interim area 126 628 127 016 n/a n/a
Permanent area 781 616 866 226 n/a n/a
Total area 908 244 993 242 (9.4% increase) 30 900 49 364 (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 Footnotea
Provincial and territorial Number of Protected Areas Area permanently protected (km2) Area under interim protection (km2) Total Area protected (km2) percent of terrestrial territory protected
Alberta Table Footnoteb 263 82 140 - 82 140 12.4%
British Columbia 1 035 135 145 696 135 841 14.4%
Manitoba Table Footnotec 306 62 701 3 250 65 951 10.2%
New Brunswick 73 2 234 - 2 234 3.1%
Newfoundland and Labrador 63 18 535 - 18 535 4.6%
Northwest Territories 32 119 205 940 120 145 8.9%
Nova Scotia 74 4 598 - 4 598 8.4%
Nunavut 29 208 588 - 208 588 10.0%
Ontario 665 109 922 - 109 922 10.2%
Prince Edward Island 134 159 - 159 2.8%
Quebec 2 439 20 582 113 543 134 125 8.9%
Saskatchewan 751 51 588 - 51 588 7.9%
Yukon 22 48 708 8 587 57 295 11.9%
Parks Canada Agency Table Footnoted 1 10 000 0 10 000 not applicable
Canada Total (Terrestrial) 5 884 Table Footnotee 873 967 13 473 993 243 Table Footnotef 10.0%
Table 3: Summary of marine protected areas in Canada
Administrator Number of MPAs Marine area protected (km2) Proportion of total MPA Table Footnoteg
British Columbia 179 2 786.0 5.6%
Manitoba 1 82.2 0.2%
Quebec 441 3 452.0 7.0%
Prince Edward Island 47 13.6 0.0%
New Brunswick 2 0.4 0.0%
Newfoundland and Labrador 6 152.0 0.3%
Quebec and Parks Canada Agency 1 1 245.3 2.5%
Environment Canada 57 19 589.0 39.7%
Parks Canada Agency 14 11 642.7 23.6%
Fisheries and Oceans Canada 8 10 406.5 21.1%
Canada Total 756 Table Footnoteh 49 369.7 100.0%

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 territories 58.1%
Federal: Parks Canada Agency 30.3%
Federal: Environment Canada 10.5%
Federal: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (community pastures) 0.9%
Private lands 0.2%

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.

Year Marine (km2) Terrestrial (km2
1876 0 15165.91105
1877 0 15165.91105
1878 0 15165.91105
1879 0 15165.91105
1880 0 15165.91105
1881 0 15165.91105
1882 0 15165.91105
1883 0 15165.91105
1884 0 15165.91105
1885 0 21806.91105
1886 0 24469.01105
1887 0 24517.44055
1888 0 24517.44055
1889 0 24517.44055
1890 0 24517.44055
1891 0 24517.44055
1892 0 24517.44055
1893 0 32240.44055
1894 0 32272.98055
1895 0 32777.98055
1896 0 32777.98055
1897 0 32777.98055
1898 0 32777.98055
1899 0 32777.98055
1900 0 32800.82995
1901 0 32800.82995
1902 0 32800.82995
1903 0 32800.82995
1904 0 32800.82995
1905 0 32800.82995
1906 0 32800.82995
1907 0 43678.82995
1908 0 43678.82995
1909 0 43678.82995
1910 0 43678.82995
1911 7.1 46130.21995
1912 7.1 46130.21995
1913 7.1 53295.84995
1914 7.1 53581.84995
1915 7.1 53581.84995
1916 7.1 53581.84995
1917 7.1 53581.84995
1918 7.1 53597.04995
1919 21.877 53621.24095
1920 21.877 55027.64095
1921 21.877 55030.87095
1922 21.877 103864.9827
1923 21.877 103868.5083
1924 21.877 103868.5083
1925 295.9748 104679.4671
1926 295.9748 104679.5197
1927 303.745 164361.2826
1928 303.745 164365.7826
1929 303.745 164365.9026
1930 303.745 167359.2026
1931 303.745 167368.7024
1932 303.745 167369.83
1933 303.745 167369.92
1934 303.745 167373.22
1935 303.745 167373.22
1936 303.745 168362.8254
1937 306.4842 169214.8758
1938 306.4842 180816.6258
1939 367.4742 187391.0362
1940 367.4742 188542.8662
1941 1916.4681 192731.6818
1942 1916.4681 192788.7218
1943 1916.4681 193067.3918
1944 1926.8225 195054.9897
1945 1926.8225 195212.5689
1946 1926.8225 195290.9389
1947 1926.8225 195294.3489
1948 1926.8225 195669.6129
1949 1926.8225 195890.2933
1950 1927.0925 196080.2633
1951 1927.0925 196303.4769
1952 1927.0925 196721.824
1953 1927.0925 196784.1868
1954 1927.1325 197114.683
1955 1941.1125 197290.845
1956 1941.1125 197417.6353
1957 3533.2273 206516.6384
1958 3538.8988 206879.7786
1959 4018.1945 213796.2005
1960 4150.7082 214205.2803
1961 11860.6795 293356.542
1962 11860.9595 293671.9531
1963 11860.9595 294250.6934
1964 11994.9595 296050.4547
1965 13760.3854 308096.8298
1966 13788.5564 308209.2773
1967 13805.0551 309448.5149
1968 13805.1151 309883.4809
1969 13805.1751 311468.4531
1970 13807.2851 338343.6885
1971 13937.8501 341020.7256
1972 13939.151 348785.6896
1973 14048.241 356948.1826
1974 14058.211 360568.1375
1975 14113.0532 368257.3982
1976 15270.5596 408652.1893
1977 15270.5596 409913.5645
1978 15284.8417 410321.6273
1979 15328.4411 410768.3204
1980 15337.1336 410866.803
1981 15783.8136 414877.4623
1982 15796.2936 415007.0887
1983 15796.2936 434574.8621
1984 15874.2936 459219.8705
1985 16089.1195 464352.7187
1986 16135.3783 472134.99
1987 16211.2983 478442.6684
1988 18561.9483 514010.1695
1989 18566.8053 522054.4032
1990 18570.5753 525701.6256
1991 18596.8729 526200.2102
1992 18956.8611 526722.6268
1993 18979.0281 537549.5441
1994 18985.9901 541785.8612
1995 20764.7681 581490.3934
1996 21622.5923 600595.5578
1997 21638.5593 612225.3303
1998 22962.5263 641876.9299
1999 22963.2633 653524.8537
2000 22964.3393 665423.2364
2001 23458.3963 723938.1592
2002 23459.1263 747686.0126
2003 26780.6063 806190.1012
2004 29181.1383 816014.4375
2005 29252.8483 847113.4629
2006 29536.8503 852495.1842
2007 29568.4503 877583.6299
2008 36607.9203 923490.9348
2009 36690.1903 977342.0223
2010 45911.785 984990.9521
2011 45911.914 1001274.366

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 Footnote5) 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 Footnote6 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 name Percent protected in 2005 Percent protected in 2011 Change
1.  Arctic Cordillera 22.6% 26.0% 3.4%
2.  Northern Arctic 7.4% 6.8% -0.6%
3.  Southern Arctic 15.9% 16.5% 0.6%
4.  Taiga Plains 4.9% 7.3% 2.4%
5.  Taiga Shield 4.0% 6.2% 2.3%
6.  Boreal Shield 7.4% 8.9% 1.6%
7.  Atlantic Maritime 4.3% 5.6% 1.3%
8.  Mixedwood Plain 0.4% 1.8% 1.4%
9.  Boreal Plains 8.1% 9.1% 1.0%
10.  Prairie 3.5% 6.0% 2.5%
11.  Taiga Cordillera 10.3% 12.8% 2.6%
12.  Boreal Cordillera 14.3% 15.2% 0.9%
13.  Pacific Maritime 12.4% 20.3% 8.0%
14.  Montane Cordillera 16.5% 17.2% 0.7%
15.  Hudson Plains 10.4% 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 name Percent protected in   protected in 2005 Table Footnotei Percent protected in   protected in 2011 Table Footnotej Change
1.  Strait of Georgia 3.1% 3.9% +0.8%
2.  Southern Shelf 2.4% 2.5% +0.1%
3.  Offshore Pacific 0.03% 2.0% +2.0%
4.  Northern Shelf 0.4% 5.3% +4.9%
5.  Arctic Basin 0.02% 0.02% 0%
6.  Western Arctic 1.3% 1.8% +0.5%
7.  Arctic Archipelago 0.00% 0.8% +0.8%
8.  Eastern Arctic 0.02% 1.1% +1.1%
9.  Hudson Bay Complex 0.4% 0.7% +0.3%
10.  Newfoundland-Labrador Shelves 0.02% 0.02% 0%
11.  Scotian Shelf 0.6% 0.6% 0%
12.  Gulf of Saint Lawrence 1.4% 1.7% +0.3%

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 Footnote7

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 Footnote8

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 Ia 1.0%
IUCN category Ib 37.7%
IUCN category II 52.3%
IUCN category III 0.4%
IUCN category IV 2.2%
IUCN category V 0.2%
IUCN category VI 4.5%
Category not known yet 1.8%

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 territory Percent 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
Yukon 10.1% 0.0% 1.8% 11.8%
Saskatchewan 4.1% 3.9% 0.0% 8.0%
Quebec 8.0% 0.3% 0.0% 8.4%
Prince Edward Island 2.8% 0.0% 0.0% 2.8%
Ontario 9.3% 0.9% 0.0% 10.2%
Nunavut 10.0% 0.0% 0.0% 10.0%
Nova Scotia 8.3% 0.0% 0.0% 8.4%
Northwest Territories 8.4% 0.0% 0.5% 8.9%
Newfoundland and Labrador 4.2% 0.4% 0.0% 4.6%
New Brunswick 3.1% 0.0% 0.0% 3.1%
Manitoba 9.6% 0.0% 0.5% 10.1%
British Columbia 14.3% 0.0% 0.1% 14.4%
Alberta 12.4% 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 government 95.4%
Shared governance 4.2%
Private governance 0.2%
Governance by indigenous peoples and local communities 0.18%

A Global Perspective (2010) Table Footnote9 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 Footnote9 for reference information.)

Terrestrial protected areas—Global comparison of per cent of land and fresh water protected
Long description for Figure 8
Country Terrestrial protected area (percent) Rank
Germany 42.4% 1
Poland 22.4% 7
Japan 16.5% 14
Slovenia 13.2% 20
United States 12.4% 22
Mexico 11.1% 23
Sweden 10.9% 24
Australia 10.6% 25
Canada 9.7% 26
Finland 9.0% 27
Turkey 1.9% 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 Footnote9 on page 16 for reference information.)

Marine protected areas—Global comparison of per cent of marine waters protected
Long description for Figure 9
Country Marine waters protected Rank
Germany 40.3% 1
United States 28.6% 2
Australia 28.3% 3
Mexico 16.7% 8
Japan 5.6% 11
Sweden 5.3% 12
Finland 5.0% 13
Poland 4.1% 14
Turkey 2.4% 21
Canada 0.8% 23
Slovenia 0.7% 24

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