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Emerging issues for protected and conserved areas in Canada

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Dietz, S 
Beazley, KF 
Lemieux, CJ 
Clair, CS 
Coristine, L 


jats:pHorizon scanning is increasingly used in conservation to systematically explore emerging policy and management issues. We present the results of a horizon scan of issues likely to impact management of Canadian protected and conserved areas over the next 5–10 years. Eighty-eight individuals participated, representing a broad community of academics, government and nongovernment organizations, and foundations, including policymakers and managers of protected and conserved areas. This community initially identified 187 issues, which were subsequently triaged to 15 horizon issues by a group of 33 experts using a modified Delphi technique. Results were organized under four broad categories: ( i) emerging effects of climate change in protected and conserved areas design, planning, and management (i.e., large-scale ecosystem changes, species translocation, fire regimes, ecological integrity, and snow patterns); ( ii) Indigenous governance and knowledge systems (i.e., Indigenous governance and Indigenous knowledge and Western science); ( iii) integrated conservation approaches across landscapes and seascapes (i.e., connectivity conservation, integrating ecosystem values and services, freshwater planning); and ( iv) early responses to emerging cumulative, underestimated, and novel threats (i.e., management of cumulative impacts, declining insect biomass, increasing anthropogenic noise, synthetic biology). Overall, the scan identified several emerging issues that require immediate attention to effectively reduce threats, respond to opportunities, and enhance preparedness and capacity to react.</jats:p>



Horizon scan, emerging issues, protected areas, conserved areas, Indigenous-led conservation, Indigenous knowledge systems, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services, systematic planning

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Canadian Science Publishing


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Canadian Parks Collective for Innovation and Leadership ( and Don Carruthers Den Hoed (lead) for their support in undertaking this Scan. Ann Thornton provided methodological assistance. Parks Canada staff who submitted issues, assisted with workshop facilitation, and provided advice on the CPCIL website text. Pam Allen, René Charest, Martin Fortier, and Sarah Kennedy for their participation in the expert group.