Oceans20: Canada’s Oceans Act Workshop

In June 2017, over 60 stakeholders from across the country came together for the interdisciplinary Oceans20: Canada’s Oceans Act Workshop.

We chose the name “Oceans20” for a few reasons:

  • To mark the 20th anniversary of the federal Oceans Act,
  • To propose a bold transformation of our Oceans Act by 2020, and
  • To celebrate the government’s commitment to have strong protection for at least 10% of our oceans by 2020.

The workshop provided a platform to exchange ideas and co-develop solutions to strengthen ocean protection in Canada and accelerate the creation of a network of effective marine protected areas (MPAs). We were delighted to welcome speakers and participants working across all sectors including government, academia, industry and the non-profit sector.

Throughout the two-and-a-half-day workshop, speakers and participants shared marine planning strategies as well as their experiences with the Oceans Act , marine spatial planning and MPAs. Discussions traced progress and best practices from across Canada, the US, the UK and New Zealand, as well as challenges and gaps in effective ocean protection.

Key issues addressed include:

  • Experiences with the Oceans Act and marine protection from Canada’s three coasts
  • Co-governance in the marine environment
  • International success stories in marine protected areas
  • Key legal requirements for marine protection
  • Factors for success in achieving Canada’s marine conservation goals

The Oceans 20 workshop was hosted by West Coast Environmental Law in partnership with CPAWS, the David Suzuki Foundation and Ecology Action Centre, with support from Oceans 5 and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

This workshop was part of West Coast’s ongoing commitment to work with its partners and the public to improve marine protection. A report summarizing the workshop and its key messages for ensuring healthy oceans is available here.

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