Marine protected areas (MPAs) are parts of the ocean that have been set aside by law or other effective means to protect the ecosystems and resources within their boundaries. There is strong scientific consensus that MPAs with strict conservation regulations are a highly effective, but under-utilized tool that can help alleviate the global decline in ecosystem health.
In the interest of seeing Canada do its part in helping to protect the world's ocean environments, the Living Oceans Society, David Suzuki Foundation and Sierra Club British Columbia have produced this progress report card to assess Canada's performance in meeting its national and international commitments to establish a global network of MPAs by 2012.
The performances of classmates Australia and the United States were assessed to provide a comparison. In light of the poor grades Canada received, specific steps have been recommended outlining how and where Canada needs improvement in order to get a passing grade by 2012.