Canadian Protected Areas Status Report 2012 to 2015: glossary


Biological diversity (biodiversity):
The variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. Footnote1
Biological resources:
Genetic resources, organisms or parts thereof, populations, or any other biotic component of ecosystems with actual or potential use or value for humanity. Footnote2
In the context of protected areas, connectivity refers to the conservation of particular areas or corridors to provide physical or functional links or contiguity between natural or important habitat areas and thereby contribute to broader-scale landscape conservation. In the design of a network, connectivity allows for linkages whereby protected sites benefit from larval and/or species exchanges, and functional linkages from other network sites. In a connected network individual sites benefit one another. Footnote 3
Degazetting (delisting/ deregulating):
A loss of legal protection for an entire protected area. Footnote4.1
A decrease in legal restrictions on the number, magnitude, or extent of human activities within a protected area (i.e. legal authorisation for increased human use). Footnote5
A decrease in size of a protected area as a result of excision of land or sea area through a legal boundary change. Footnote6
Ecological integrity:
A condition that is determined to be characteristic of [a park's] natural region and is likely to persist, including abiotic components and the composition and abundance of native species and biological communities, rates of change and supporting processes. Footnote7
A dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit. Footnote8
Ecosystem services:
A concept developed to focus the attention of decision-makers, business, and the general public, to the many ways that humans benefit from and depend on healthy functioning ecosystems. This dependency extends from essential support for life (e.g., because ecosystems produce oxygen and food) to security (e.g., by mitigating extreme weather events) and quality of life (by supporting e.g., cognitive development and psychological well-being). Natural processes within ecosystems result in the provision of these “services” that benefit all species, but the concept of ecosystem services focuses attention particularly on human dependence on these processes. Ecosystem services are produced in all environments - urban, rural, and wilderness. Although ecosystem services are categorized by types (e.g. supporting, provisioning, regulating, and cultural services), in reality they are often interacting. The terms ‘‘ecosystem goods and services’’ and “ecological goods and services” are synonymous with ecosystem services. Footnote9
Ecozones are the broadest ecological unit within the National Ecological Framework for Canada Footnote10. In 2014, the ecozones level of the framework was updated. The National Ecological Framework for Canada delineates, classifies and describes ecologically distinct areas of Canada’s surface at different levels of generalization using various abiotic and biotic factors at each of the levels. The National Ecological Framework provides a consistent, national spatial context within which ecosystems at various levels of generalization can be described, monitored, and reported on. The use of such a framework provides for common communication and reporting between different jurisdictions and disciplines, and provides a common ground to report on the state of the environment and the sustainability of ecosystems in Canada.. Canada has 18 terrestrial ecozones and 13 aquatic ecozones.
In Canada, jurisdictions comprise the provincial and territorial governments as well as the federal government.
Key Biodiversity Area:
Sites that are contributing significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity. Footnote11
Land Trust:
A charitable organization which, as all or part of its mission, actively works to conserve land by undertaking or assisting in land acquisition or conservation agreements or by engaging in stewardship of such land or conservation agreements. In Quebec, land trusts are non-profit organizations that in some cases do not have charitable status. Footnote12
Management effectiveness:
How well a protected area is being managed; primarily the extent to which it is protecting values and achieving goals and objectives. Footnote13
Actions taken to track changes over time according to a set of selected indicators. For protected areas in particular, monitoring could focus on population counts to assess its trend (e.g. based on numbers, composition and distribution), or the health of ecosystem functions or threats or stressors impacting wildlife or its habitat.
Monitoring Protocol:
Monitoring protocol refers to the existence of a scientifically-based ongoing monitoring program for a protected area or network of protected areas.
A collection of individual protected areas that operates cooperatively and synergistically, at various spatial scales, and with a range of protection levels, in order to fulfill ecological aims more effectively and comprehensively than individual sites could alone. Footnote14 (NOTE: Parks Canada Agency does not refer to the assemblage of its protected areas as a network but rather as a system. The National Parks System Plan provides outstanding representative examples of natural landscapes and natural phenomena that occur and protected through National Parks across Canada's 39 natural regions.)
Refers to the process of designing an individual protected area, a system of protected areas or a network of protected areas.
Protected area:
A clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values. Footnote15
Protected areas organisations:
Government agencies or departments that have the authority to establish and manage protected areas. These include all provincial and territorial governments as well as a number of federal departments and agencies. A list of protected area organisations covered in this report can be found in the Introduction.
The degree to which different biogeographical subdivisions (e.g., ecologically distinct regions or habitat types) within the planning area (e.g. province, territory, country) are protected.
Sustainable use:
The use of components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations. Footnote16
A collection of individual protected areas planned on a site-by-site basis to achieve site-specific conservation objectives. For the purposes of this report a system of protected areas may or may not have planned ecological or physical connectivity, though synergy may result as a by-product of site-specific or broader landscape planning. The International Union for Conservation of Nature characterizes a protected area system as having five linked elements: 1) representativeness, comprehensiveness and balance; 2) adequacy; 3) coherence and complementarity; 4) consistency; and 5) cost effectiveness, efficiency and equity. Footnote17
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