Parks Canada renews agreement with US and Mexican partner agencies to work collaboratively to conserve protected areas

News release

November 9, 2023                     Gatineau, Quebec                      Parks Canada

As a recognized leader in conservation, Parks Canada takes action to protect national parks and national marine conservation areas and contributes to the recovery of species at risk in Canada. Parks Canada also works together with international partners to protect biodiversity and mitigate the impacts of climate change on a continental scale.

During the annual meeting of the Executive Committee of the North American Inter-Governmental Committee on Cooperation for Protected Areas Conservation (NAPA) held in Cancun, Mexico, from November 6 to 9, 2023, Parks Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with partner agencies from the United States and Mexico to renew collaborative efforts for the conservation of protected areas.

Parks Canada is the Canadian representative organization on NAPA, which also includes US National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, US Geological Survey (USGS), and Mexico’s National Commission on Natural Protected Areas. Established in 2009, NAPA is a collaborative initiative that fosters the exchange of ideas, experiences, best practices, and innovative solutions on shared conservation opportunities on a continental scale and across multiple agencies and jurisdictions.

Together, NAPA member agencies manage more than 15 percent of the North American continental landmass. NAPA is committed to working across boundaries to address common ecological, economic, and social challenges. Some of the ways the committee achieves this is through sharing best management practices and research, capacity-building, and working together on a common understanding of the importance of protected areas in addressing the dual biodiversity and climate crises.

Current priority areas for NAPA include collaborative initiatives of tri-national interest, such as Indigenous stewardship of protected areas, ecosystem and landscape-scale connectivity, climate change response, social science, and visitor experience. NAPA’s work also supports commitments to protect biodiversity and conserve 30 percent of land and inland waters and 30 percent of marine and coastal areas by 2030.

Parks Canada would like to thank Mexico for hosting this year’s annual meeting of the NAPA Executive Committee. Canada looks forward to hosting partner agencies for the 2024 annual meeting. 

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Additional multimedia

Ron Hallman, President & CEO of Parks Canada (third from left), together with representatives from US National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, US Geological Survey (USGS), and Mexico’s National Commission on Natural Protected Areas agree to renew collaborative efforts for the conservation of protected areas. (Photo Credit: Parks Canada)

Quotes

“NAPA agencies have so much to offer each other in terms of knowledge and expertise critical to responding to the dual crises of biodiversity and climate change. This renewed agreement builds on the past 14 years of success and is a testimony to Parks Canada’s ongoing commitment to protected area conservation and to collaborating with its North American partners on issues of common concern.”

Ron Hallman
President & Chief Executive Officer
Parks Canada

Quick facts

  • The most recent NAPA publication was Fostering Inclusivity and Respect: Engagement with Indigenous Peoples in the Management and Conservation of Protected Areas in North America. This trilingual publication showcases examples of meaningful and tangible engagement of Indigenous peoples across NAPA agencies, with a view to supporting connections between Indigenous communities and landscapes that remain integral to their social, cultural, spiritual, and economic well-being.

  • Formerly the North American Committee on Cooperation for Wilderness and Protected Areas Conservation (NAWPA), the renewed MOU removes the term “wilderness” from the Committee’s name to better reflect the broader scope of work of NAPA agencies. Wilderness designations are still included in the Committee’s definition of protected areas.

  • The original MOU agreement, signed in 2009, was the world’s first intergovernmental agreement on wilderness conservation and was one of the main outcomes of the 9th World Wilderness Congress (WILD 9) held in Merida, Mexico. 

Associated links

Contacts

Media Relations
Parks Canada
855-862-1812
pc.media@pc.gc.ca

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