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Legal Framework for Protected Areas: Canada I IUCN

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This case study focuses on terrestrial national parks in Canada, where the protected areas system has
evolved for over a century since the creation of a national park at Banff in 1885. The role of ‘ecological
integrity’ as a statutory standard following recent legislative renewal of the Canada National Parks
Act is a distinctive feature of the Canadian system. While the national parks system has experienced
significant recent expansion in conjunction with the resolution of northern aboriginal land claims, there
are only limited indications in Canada of either co-management or community-conserved areas. The
Canadian framework incorporates a wide range of reporting and accountability mechanisms which
contribute importantly to public and non-government participation in the development of parks policy
and administration. The national terrestrial parks system, while a keystone of Canada’s protected areas
framework, does not appear to be fully integrated with other federal protected areas initiatives or
with corresponding protected areas regimes operating at the provincial level, although a jointly agreed
biodiversity strategy has been developed through federal-provincial-territorial consultation.

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