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A climate-resilient marine conservation network for Canada

A Bryndum-Buchholz, K Boerder, RRE Stanley, I Hurley, DG Boyce, KM Dunmall, KL Hunter, HK Lotze, NL Shackell, B Worm, DP Tittensor.


Climate change and biodiversity loss are twin crises that are driving global marine conservation efforts. However, if unaccounted for, climate change can undermine the efficacy of such efforts. Despite this, integration of climate change adaptation and resilience into spatial marine conservation and management has been limited in Canada and elsewhere. With climate change impacts becoming increasingly severe, now is the time to anticipate and reduce impacts wherever possible. We provide five recommendations for an inclusive, proactive, climate-ready approach for Canada’s growing marine conservation network: (1) integrating climate-resilience as a universal objective of the Canadian Marine Conservation Network, creating and implementing (2) national transdisciplinary working groups with representation from all knowledge holders and (3) necessary tools that integrate climate change into conservation design, (4) defining operational and climate-relevant monitoring and management objectives, and (5) strengthening communication and increasing knowledge exchange around the roles and benefits of protected areas within government and towards the public. Canada’s extensive marine and coastal areas reflect national and international responsibility to engage on this issue. Canada is well positioned to assume a leading role in climate change adaptation for marine conservation and help accelerate progress towards international commitments around mitigating ongoing biodiversity loss and climate change.

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