The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has recently released new guidelines designed to help North America’s marine protected areas adapt to climate change.
The guidelines–created by the CEC in collaboration with the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea and 33 North American experts–were launched last week at the Restore America’s Estuaries Conference in Tampa, Florida.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are areas designed to regulate human interaction with marine ecosystems. While they are a valuable tool for conservation, they are still in danger of the effects of climate change: warming temperatures, rising sea level, shifting populations, etc.
The guidelines, designed to help planners, managers and scientists, are divided into four sections:
- Protect species and habitats with crucial ecosystem roles, or those of special conservation concern
- Protect potential carbon sinks
- Protect ecological linkages and connectivity pathways for a wide range of species
- Protect the full range of biodiversity present in the target biogeographic area
There are nearly 2,000 MPAs in North America and hopefully these new guidelines will inspire collaboration between nations and help make MPAs more effective when it comes to protecting the ocean.
To learn more:
- Check out this post from the CEC: Helping North America’s marine protected areas adapt to a changing climate
- Download the guidelines, here: Scientific Guidelines for Designing Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks in a Changing Climate
- Watch short videos about North America’s MPAs
Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.